CEC holds workshop for journalists
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
A practical seminar for journalists involved in covering the current electoral season has been organized on 18 October in the Republican Press Center set up for elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The event was organized in the format of video conferencing and was attended by representatives of national and foreign mass media, personnel of the Republican Press Center for coverage of the presidential elections and press centers of district election commissions.
During the seminar, Chairman of the Central Election Commission Mirzo-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, Deputy Chairperson of the Senate of Oliy Majlis Svetlana Artikova, Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights Ulugbek Muhammadiev and other speakers noted that as a result of reforms designed to build a democratic constitutional state and a free civil society, to radically renovate and modernize the country spearheaded in Uzbekistan under the leadership of the first President of country Islam Karimov, the right of citizens to free expression of will, to elect and be elected are fully guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic, and an electoral system meeting democratic standards has been established.
Mechanisms of democratic formation of independent election commissions have been introduced to prepare for and hold elections without interference of government bodies of any kind. The Central Election Commission is granted the status of a constitutional body, the basic principles of whose activity are independence, legitimacy, collegiality, transparency and fairness.
Special emphasis was placed at the seminar on the experience of elections garnered in the country in the past years, legislative norms and enforcement practices in holding presidential ballot, improved on the basis of universally acknowledged international standards and recommendations of foreign observers. Novelties and amendments, in particular, have reflected in the consolidation of guarantees of citizens’ electoral rights and free expression of their will, in the enhancement of openness of electoral commissions.
In addition, the electoral legislation contains the concept of election campaigning, its types, forms and methods. It also provides for the formation of polling stations in places of detention. The law envisages the reduction in the required number of signatures in electorate support sheets submitted by the political party to participate in the elections from five percent to one percent out of the total number of voters, and administrative liability has been established for violation of the electoral law.
During the workshop the representatives of mass media were presented with information on the progress of preparations for the forthcoming elections. In particular, for the first time in national electoral practice the Central Election Commission, in its preparations for the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, has approved a program designed to further uplift the legal culture of voters.
To date, in accordance with this document, along with the electoral authorities, the Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights, the Kamolot Social Youth Movement, the Women’s Committee, the Mahalla Charity Public Fund, the Council of Federation of Trade Unions, Society of People with Disabilities, the Republican Interethnic Cultural Center, the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society have been conducting explanatory works to improve the legal and electoral culture of the general population, including women, youth, the first voting boys and girls, the older generation, persons with disabilities, persons temporarily staying in places of detention.
It was noted that the importance of enhancing the range of activities within preparations for elections is the hotline launched at the office of the Oliy Majlis Commissioner for Human Rights. Via the hotline citizens can obtain qualified legal advice on the electoral process. This will help to further improve the legal culture of voters and their activities during the elections, and will allow for monitoring the processes and quickly respond to reports of cases of hindrance of the expression of free will of citizens.
In general, from the moment the election campaign was announced, mass media have published more than 4,380 materials, including over 1,700 interviews and reports broadcast on the central and local television as well as radio channels, in excess of 1,850 articles in periodicals, and more than 820 materials in online publications.
About 600 information pieces have been published abroad. The Central Election Commission has accredited more than 500 representatives of national and foreign media, while the district election commissions have accredited over 430 local journalists.
The event participants thoroughly discussed topical issues facing the electoral commissions and journalists to ensure the openness and transparency of the preparations process and conduct of elections, to organize extensive explanation campaign of the electoral law, its essence and significance among the population, the effective use of genres of journalism, of modern media technologies in the coverage of the electoral season, to intensify cooperation with election commissions.
Media representatives received answers to their questions.