27 august 2014

Central Asia news

New political party is being established in Uzbekistan

02.12.2010 15:59 msk

Alexei Volosevich

Politics Uzbekistan

On November 27 the supporters of new political party held their first session in Uzbekistan. The meeting took place in the small village, located half an hour away from Tashkent. Obviously, the political activists tried to avoid to get arrested.

The meeting was organized by Rukhiddin Kamilov (the prominent lawyer), Abdullo Todjiboy-ugli and Djahangir Shosalimov (both are human rights advocates which attempted to run in the presidential elections in 2007). Despite funny-looking organization of the meeting, it was clear these people were scared and had to exercise the constitutional right (to establish party) in such conditions.

The session of the new party
The session of the new party. Photo by Ferghana news agency

- The idea to establish a party was born long ago – Rukhiddin Kamilov told Ferghana. – Today, we gathered to prepare the registration documents, party structure and discuss other organizational issues. The membership must include at least 50 people from at least 8 regions of the republic.

I was explained that new social-democratic party will be named as "Interesy Naroda" (People’s interests). The political program has not been designed yet, but in the opinion of the founders, it will be developed later on.

The session of the new party
The session of the new party. Photo by Ferghana news agency
The establishment of the political party takes place in conditions of all formal signs of democracy in Uzbekistan. However, all these parties were established under the support of President Karimov and their major goal is to imitate multi-party system. Today, Oliy Mazhlis (lower chamber of Uzbek parliament) consists of 150 deputies. The majority of seats (53) belong to Liberal-democratic party of Uzbekistan. Despite being "democratic" it is totally controlled by the government.

People’s democratic party of Uzbekistan (the successor of Communist party of Uzbekistan) gained 32 seats in the parliament. It was established in 1991 by the assignment of President Karimov. The last initiative of this party was to rename the residential district, named after Uzbek General and Soviet hero Sabir Rakhimov.

The session of the new party in Uzbekistan
The session of the new party. Photo by Ferghana news agency

Third biggest parliamentary party is Milliy Tiklanish (National revival). The list of parliamentary parties also include Adolat Social-democratic party (19 seats) and Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan (EMU, 15 seats). There are no opposition parties in Uzbekistan.

Unlike few "puppet" parties, the independently emerging parties are not being registered in Uzbekistan. There were four of them – Erk (Will), Birlik (Solidarity), Ozod dekhkonlar (Free peasants) and Agricultural party. In various years and due to various reasons these parties were denied the registration by the Justice Ministry.

The session of the new party
The session of the new party. Photo by Ferghana news agency

It looks like the same case will happen to Interesy naroda party. However, the attempt to establish political party deserves attention because, considering absolutely stagnant political life in Uzbekistan, it is clear that people understand that many things go wrong in the republic and there is a will to change something.

It has to be mentioned that on November 30 the independent party session participants were detained in the Parkent district, the Tashkent Oblast of Uzbekistan. They were taken to local police department where the officers interrogated them until 2am. This was the official response on the attempt to establish the new independent political party.

Alexei Volosevich




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