OSCE PA deploying first-ever election observation mission to Uzbekistan

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TASHKENT (TCA) — More than 50 observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly are deploying to Uzbekistan for the 22 December parliamentary elections. It is the first time for the OSCE PA observing an election in the country, the OSCE PA said on December 13.

OSCE PA President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) will serve as Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission, following an appointment by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak. Tsereteli has led a number of observer missions in the past, including to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

“We note that a wave of changes have been undertaken recently in Uzbekistan, including revisions of its legal and electoral framework. As we are deploying for the first time a full-fledged observation mission to the country, this is also the first time that its new reforms are really put to the test. We hope to see good-faith implementation in line with OSCE election-related commitments,” said Tsereteli.

Tsereteli has appointed OSCE PA Vice-President Kari Henriksen (MP, Norway) to lead the OSCE PA observer delegation. Henriksen has extensive experience in politics in her home country and as an election observer with the OSCE PA, having led the OSCE PA delegation of observers to the parliamentary elections in Moldova earlier this year.

“As observers, we will look at all aspects of the election system, as well as the media environment and political climate, and will offer a fair and balanced assessment,” said Henriksen. “Our election observation is a check on progress and part of a larger process in supporting democratic development across the OSCE area. This is critical to ensuring that all parts of society – including both men and women – can effectively take part in the governing of their country.”

For the 22 December parliamentary elections, the OSCE PA will work closely with observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. They will deliver the post-election statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference in Tashkent on 23 December.

Sergey Kwan

TCA