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Uzbekistan Politics

State and politics

The constitution adopted in 1992 gives the president great powers of power, and in practice the country was ruled for over 25 years by President Islam Karimov, who was able to balance the interests of the various financial clans against each other. The reformed Communist Party, the People's Democratic Party, dominates political life. Karimov succeeded, through referendums in 1995 and 2002, to extend his appointment and extend the terms of office to seven years. Formally, the legislative power of Parliament, Oly Majlis, whose legislative assembly with 120 members is elected every five years while the Senate is appointed by regional bodies and the president. As a counterbalance to the environmental movements that tended to criticize government policy, in 2008 a state environmental party was set up, which has 15 permanent seats in the Senate.

Political System of Uzbekistan

In the elections, only government-friendly opposition parties and candidates have been allowed to stand. Religious-based parties have been banned since 1992. In 1998, Uzbekistan initiated cooperation with the Russian Federation and Tajikistan with the aim of combating "religious extremism". See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how UZ can stand for Uzbekistan. The lack of legal opposition parties has favored the religious movement Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose supporters in Uzbekistan are estimated to be tens of thousands. Several thousand people are imprisoned in Uzbekistan accused of belonging to Hezb ut-Tahrir. However, it is common for regime critics to be designated as members of this organization on a standard basis.

As the most populous state in the region, Uzbekistan has had the ambition to play a leading role in Central Asian politics. However, the relationship with all the neighbors has been problematic. The lack of a fully convertible currency, the elements of a planning economy in agriculture and barriers to trade make the economic exchange in the region more difficult. Relations with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been tense because they want to regulate water flow to prevent floods and extract hydroelectric power, while Uzbekistan requires the flow to be adapted to the needs of its own agriculture. The chilly relationship with Tajikistan also has historical roots.

Uzbekistan has since been independently approaching the Russian Federation, China and the United States. Uzbekistan has been a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) since 1991 but has participated in the cooperation to varying degrees. In 2006, Uzbekistan re-entered the collective security agreement but left customs cooperation EurAsEc 2008. Uzbekistan has been a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace since 1994 and belongs to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) regional cooperation organization since 2001.

At the death of President Islam Karimov in August 2016, the country's then Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev took over as interim president. He was elected by overwhelming majority to the president in the elections held in December the same year.

Judiciary

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan was given the opportunity to independently design its right and its judicial system. Radical reforms, designed to adapt the legal system to the needs of the market economy, have begun, but large parts of the legal system are still based on Soviet legal heritage. The death penalty was abolished in 2008; the last execution took place in 2005.

Human Rights

Uzbekistan's constitution provides for freedom of expression and pressure, but in practice the media is tightly controlled by the regime and the law limits the ability to express criticism of the president. A special media commission can shut down media without court decisions and threats and harassment against journalists are common. The Reporters Without Borders organization ranks Uzbekistan as one of the world's ten most repressive countries, placing the country at 166 out of 180 in the 2015 Freedom of Press Index.

Respect for human rights is low in the country and there are major restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression. Over the past decade, a large number of individual organizations have been forced to either close down their business or severely restrict it. Uzbekistan authorities are deliberately hampering the work of international organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, whose Uzbekistan office was forced to close in 2006. In 2011, Human Rights Watch was also forced to close its office in the country. The country applies strict laws on registration of parties, organizations and media. Opposition parties are not allowed to register and therefore cannot operate freely.

Since the military massacres of Andizjan protesters in 2005 (see History), no improvement has been made regarding respect for the right to life, bodily integrity and prohibition of torture. Arbitrary detention occurs regularly and activists working for human rights and some Muslims who are regarded by the authorities as radicals are more often affected than other groups.

Human Rights Watch regularly reports on torture in prisons and prisons and a large number of deaths in prisons have occurred under unclear circumstances. The official cause of death for interns is often cited as a heart problem or other illness, even when the intern is clearly subjected to violence. There are also reports of women being raped in prisons and prisons. However, the death penalty was abolished as a criminal penalty on 1 January 2008.

Religious freedom is mandatory but all religious communities must be registered. Following the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the persecution of unregistered Muslim groups has intensified, as they are considered to be closely linked to terrorism (see Religion).

Gender discrimination is prohibited in the Constitution, but in practice, not enough is being done to combat or counter such discrimination. Wife trafficking, which is not specifically mentioned in the law, is considered a family affair rather than a crime. The number of women attending higher education has decreased in recent years, and women are still under-represented in higher positions in society. Trafficking in women and girls is a major problem, despite legislation that explicitly prohibits human trafficking. Male homosexuality is a crime by law, but prosecution is unusual.

Uzbekistan has not acceded to the conventions on the ban on child labor, nor to the Convention on Freedom of Association and the Right to Negotiate.

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