EU bemoans absence of opposition parties from Uzbekistan elections

BRUSSELS, The European Union noted “serious irregularities” in the parliamentary elections held in Uzbekistan yesterday.

“Only parties formally approved by the government were authorised to nominate their candidates which led to the absence of opposition parties from the contest,” said the EU spokesperson for foreign and security policy Peter Stefano in a statement on Monday. “Continuing lack of respect for fundamental rights and some serious irregularities on Election Day were observed.

“There is a need for further investment in the democratic process in Uzbekistan before elections can truly be described as fair and free,” he stressed. “Future parliamentary elections should be open to independent candidates,” Stefano urged.

However, the spokesperson said assessment of the international election observers concludes “that improvements to election law and greater acceptance of freedom of expression allowed for the elections to be conducted in an open and fair atmosphere with genuine competition between the various candidates.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency