Upon the invitation of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan and in accordance with its mandate, TURKPA Referendum Observation Mission composed of the parliamentarians from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Türkiye, as well as the representatives of the TURKPA Secretariat conducted short term monitoring of the Constitutional referendum in Uzbekistan held on 30 April 2023.
Within its observation program, the Mission held meeting with the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan Zayniddin Nizamkhodjayev.
The Mission reviewed the legal framework for the organization and conduct of referendum in Uzbekistan, and draft amendments to the Constitution submitted to the referendum.
Draft amendments to the Constitution implied the update of 65% of the text of the Constitution based on the processing of high amount of proposals. In this context, the draft amendments were submitted to the referendum as the Constitution in a new edition and it was decided to hold a referendum on the draft Constitutional Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan” on 30 April 2023.
The draft amendments related inter alia to the legal status of Uzbekistan, enhanced provisions on protection of human rights and freedoms, social obligations of the state, protection of public health, ecological rights, civil society institutions and mass media, prohibition of forced labour, guarantees for inviolability of private property, extension of the length of the presidential term from five to seven years, strengthening the guarantees for the independence of judiciary. The draft also included amendments related to the further strengthening of parliamentarism and increase of powers of the parliament.
On the referendum day, members of the Mission visited polling stations in Tashkent and observed the voting process at all stages, including the opening of polling stations and counting of votes. The Mission monitored casting of votes, talked to voters, polling stations' officials and local observers. TURKPA observers gave interviews to mass media.
On 1 May, the Mission held a press conference on the preliminary outcomes of its observation.
The Mission positively assessed the overall voting process in the visited polling stations.
The Mission noted that the referendum administration bodies were well-resourced and professionally prepared for the conduct of referendum. It commended the work of the CEC on training of lower-level commissions, ensuring openness and transparency of the preparation process, and the measures taken by the referendum administration bodies on provision of unimpeded and independent access for voters with disabilities.
The Mission concluded that the Constitutional referendum in the Republic of Uzbekistan of 30 April 2023 was held in compliance with the national legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan and international standards.