[아시아엔=아프타브 카지, 존스홉킨스대 중앙아시아-코카서스연구소 선임연구원] 12월 4일 실시되는 우즈베키스탄 대통령선거에는 모두 4명의 후보가 출마한다. 이슬람 카리모프(Islam Karimov) 전 대통령의 사망 이후 우즈베키스탄 정국이 어떻게 전개될 지 주목된다. 우즈벡 선거위원회(CEC) 주관하에 실시되는 선거는 서방의 우려에도 불구하고 선거 준비과정은 투명하게 진행 중이다. 대선 후보들을 소개한다.
13개 주에서 이루어지는 이번 대통령 선거에서는 미르지요예브 총리가 최다득표를 할 것으로 예측되지만 과반수 확보에는 실패해 연립정부를 이룰 것이라는 전망이 우세하다.
다음은 기사 전문.
Leadership Change and the Forthcoming Presidential Elections in Uzbekistan
Senior Fellow of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute,
Johns Hopkins University
Contrary to the Western media and official perceptions that the late president Islam Karimov left Uzbekistan without a successor, the succession took off immediately after the passing away of president Karimov. According to the succession process devised in the Constitution, power initially transferred to the Senate head, which for personal reasons declined and proposed in the Senate that the concurrent Prime Minister Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev take over as acting president followed, with the constitutionally promised Presidential Elections within the next three months. The Constitution of Uzbekistan was written with all of the best qualities of other republication constitutions worldwide, and comprised under the now well?known Uzbek model, hence democracy. Forthcoming Presidential Elections on December 4, 2016, thus highlight a major constitutional leadership change in Uzbekistan.
The Election Commission of Uzbekistan (CEC) with enormous experience having organized the last so many presidential and parliamentary elections on time – per constitutional rules- is busy implementing her strict laws of electoral conduct, which OSCE/ODIHR have often illegitimately criticized as unfair vis-?-vis? the opinions of independently invited observers. OSCE observers not visiting the polling station on Election Day, a fact demonstrated by the registers of attendance at every polling station that every observer must sign, which are available in CEC archives. Opinions of Independent observers that CEC always invited have always differed with the OSCE statements. These statements have often overlooked the political culture and electoral processes that have often led to the formation of a coalition government. Mind you, the forthcoming December 4 Presidential Election will be the litmus test for the credibility of OSCE/ODIHR in Central Asia and the world.
Although Western governments have often looked polemically to late President Islam Karimov, his party in fact, never ever won over 32 percent of the vote. Popular as he was, he formed coalitions with other political parties from various regions to form the government. It is time that the myths about clan politics in Uzbekistan in Western media are shelved. It is very likely that the post-Karimov next president of Uzbekistan will also be forming a coalition government per nature of the operating political culture of Uzbekistan. Currently, at least four popular political parties representing different regions are contesting. Erlik and Berlick parties unable to seek at least from 35 to 40,000 public signatures be eligible to participate.
Participating four candidates include:
1)Sarvar Sadullaevich Otamuratov of the Milly Tiklanish Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, a moderately conservative that stands for national revival aimed at strengthening of national identity and reforms mixing traditionalism with modernism and has often coalesced with the Liberal Democratic Party in policy matters related family economics and spirituality.
2)Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev from the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business people the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan which promotes liberal democratic values based on modern representative democracy, focusing on the voters’ voices with human rights, market reforms and freedoms besides multi-vector foreign policy. In fact, it won the majority in 2014 general elections and together with Milly Tiklanish formed the Bloc of Democratic Forces. It also nominated by Article 98 of the Constitution the candidate for the post of Prime Minister in Uzbekistan’s Parliamentarian history. Mr. Mirziyoyev remains the Prime Minister and incumbent acting president of Uzbekistan as well.Providing for reliable protection of the rights and interests of property owners, entrepreneurs, farmers, and business people, expanding the businesses’ access to commercial courts, working out alternative non-judicial dispute resolution measures ? these are the priorities of the party in the judicial sphere.
3)Hatamjon Abdurakhmonovich Ketmonov from the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan is considered important for maintaining its opposition role in Parliament and largely focuses on issues related to social welfare of the people in general, but particularly cares about the disabled, retirees and protection of social equality and security, besides socially oriented economy and a multi-vector foreign policy in that regard.
4)Nariman Madjitovich Umarov from Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan with a left centrist position maintains followers in various elite-oriented technical fields and budgetary service sectors. It advocates equality and justice in solidarity with market-oriented economy based on a social welfare and stratification, freedom of choice, equality, and modernization, besides multi-vector foreign policy aimed at peace and sustainable development.
As always, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission Mirzo-Ulugbek Abdusalomov has publicly informed the constituencies that all candidates will be having equal time on communication channels (TV, Radio,press/multi-media) to broadcast their party programs and the electioneering are ongoing free of charge and special instructions have been issued to Candidates are provided with print space free of charge (details for the purpose of this short article are unnecessary) with special instructions regarding screens, billboard signs and opportunity to use at least 36 electronic monitors for free placement of campaigning videos. Of course according to the Constitution ever eligible voter receive a ballot letter to be used for the polling day. Special arrangements have been made through civil society volunteers to visit the seriously ill voters at home enabling them to cast their vote by ballot. Several precinct election commissions have been formed at the districts level to carry out activities in areas with over 98 thousand people, of these, 69% of commissions have prior experience to carry out election work.? Women make approximately 47.4 percent in these sub-commissions, with 26.7 percent of them serving as chairpersons.
CONCLUSION: the people of Uzbekistan’s thirteen provinces will be casting their votes in a total of 9,387 polling stations, besides some 44 diplomatic and Consular missions overseas with all of the voting facilities. More than 500 representatives of national and international media, besides approximately 560 local journalists of all schools of thought have been accredited to observe and report on the elections. All candidates have strong credentials and are popular in their regions. The election will be competitive, but as appears based upon the recent domestic and regional foreign policy works by the incumbent acting president Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev might have a slight advantage because of his approximately 17 years of experience in domestic and foreign policy arenas as prime minister. As the political culture of Uzbekistan’s various electorally contending regions suggests, in my opinion, no single party could win an absolute majority and the contestants might have to form another coalition government. The 2016 Presidential Elections are thus important for both Uzbekistan and the region at large.