As it is well-known, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the chamber of territorial representation. The Senate is engaged in solving regional problems in the national interest. A senator’s term of office is five years.
Members of the Senate shall be elected in equal numbers — six people from each - the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and the city of Tashkent. Elections to the Senate shall be conducted by secret ballot at the respective joint sessions of deputies of Jokarghy Kenes of Karakalpakstan and local Kengashes of these deputies.
Sixteen members of the Senate shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from among the most authoritative citizens with extensive practical experience and special merits in the field of science, art, literature, production and other spheres of state and social activity.
Elections of the members of the Senate shall be held no later than one month after the election of the deputies of the Jokarghy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and local Kengashes. A candidate for election to the Senate may be a deputy of the Jokarghy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, a local Kengash, who has reached the age of twenty-five by the election day and permanently residing in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan for at least five years.
Convening of joint meetings of the Jokarghy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, local Kengashes of the respective region, Tashkent city, as well as sub-regions and cities (hereinafter referred to as the joint meeting) shall be held by the Central Election Commission. The joint meeting shall be competent if at least two-thirds of the total number of deputies is present. The Central Election Commission shall announce the holding of a joint meetings for the election of members of the Senate within three days after the publication of the results of the elections to the Jokarghy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, local Kengashes.
The resolution of the Central Election Commission indicating the date, time and place of joint meetings shall be announced in the mass media as well as on its official website.
The joint meeting shall be opened by a member of the Central Election Commission, who makes a proposal on the presiding of the most authoritative, experienced, senior deputies. To conduct the work of the joint meeting by open vote shall be elected a working presidium of three to five persons, as well as a Secretariat of three persons to record the proposals received and to formalize the decisions taken.
Nomination of candidates for membership of the Senate shall be held at the joint meeting. The Advisory Council shall be elected by a simple majority of votes to nominate candidates for the Senate on the proposal of the Chairperson.
The Advisory Council shall nominate and consider candidates for membership in the Senate from among the most authoritative deputies with extensive practical experience and special merits in the field of science, art, literature, production and other spheres of state and social activity, and shall make a proposal for inclusion of them in the ballot.
Decision to include them in the ballot shall be made based on the results of a personal hearing and discussion of candidates at a joint meeting. A candidate for the Senate, for whom the majority of deputies participating in the joint meeting voted, shall be considered to be included in the ballot. A Counting Commission consisting of up to nine members, including the chairperson and secretary of the Commission, shall be elected from among the deputies participating in the joint meeting to conduct the secret ballot and determine its results.
The Counting Commission shall organize and conduct voting on the election of members of the Senate, announce the time, place and procedure of the secret ballot to the participants of the joint meeting, prepare ballot papers by including in them in alphabetical order the surname, name and patronymic of each candidate for the Senate with the date of birth, specify a list of voters, issue a ballot sheets, affix a seal on its front side and ensure the presence on the ballot of signatures of at least two members of the Counting Commission, count the votes and draws up a Protocol on the results of the secret ballot, submit for approval of the joint meeting the results of the secret ballot.
Before the start of the secret ballot, the chairperson of the Counting Commission shall announce the procedure for its conduct, in the presence of the members of the Commission shall check and seal the ballot box with disposable seals. The ballot box shall be installed in such a way that the voters, when approaching it, must pass through the booth or the room for secret ballot. The deputy participating in the joint meeting shall present to the member of the Counting Commission a document proving his/her identity and sign the list of voters, after which he/she shall be issued a ballot.
The ballot shall be filled in by the voter in the booth or in the secret ballot room by putting one of the marks «+» or «√» or «х» on empty square situated on the right side, opposite to the surname of the candidate for Senate members for whom he/she is voting.
The voter shall put the completed ballot paper into the ballot box, which shall be placed in a visible place. Distorted ballot paper may be replaced by a new one at the request of the voter. After the end of the secret voting process unused, as well as distorted ballot papers shall be counted, cancelled (by cutting the upper left corner on the left) and stored separately. Counting of votes shall be conducted by the members of the Counting Commission without interruption until the results of the secret ballot are determined.
On the basis of ballot papers in ballot box the Counting Commission shall determine the total number of the deputies present at voting, number of votes cast for each candidate for membership of the Senate, number of invalid ballot papers. The votes shall not be counted by the names of citizens additionally inscribed on the ballot papers.
Ballot papers of an unidentified sample, ballot papers in which the marks «+» or «√» or «х» are not put down in any square, as well as ballots on the front side of which there is no seal and signatures of members of the Counting Commission shall be deemed invalid. A protocol shall be drawn up upon the secret ballot results, and the protocol shall be signed by all the members of the Counting Commission.
Candidates for members of the Senate who received more votes in relation to other candidates as a result of voting, provided that more than fifty percent of deputies of local Kengashes present at the joint meeting voted for them, shall be considered as elected.
Based on the protocols of joint meetings, the Central Election Commission shall register members of the Senate not later than five days from the day of receipt of such protocols and shall issue a certificate and a breastplate within ten days after their registration.
As can be seen from the above, the election of members of the Senate is a complex electoral process that involves several stages. Clear and uniform implementation of rules such as the election of candidates to the Advisory Council at the session of the local Kengashes, approval of the formation of the Advisory Council at the joint meeting, holding a meeting of the Advisory Council within the joint meeting, election of the Counting Commission at the joint meeting serves to implement the principles of freedom, fairness and transparency.
Holding the meeting of the Advisory Council during the joint session shows the peculiarities of the electoral legislation of our country. At the same time, when comparing the elections of members of the Senate, where such a step-by-step election process is held, we can say that our electoral legislation has accumulated a unique experience that is worth studying at the international level.
In our country, the Senate elections shall be held on the basis of democratic principles, and it plays an important role in the election of worthy candidates to the upper chamber of Parliament as well as in bringing the Senate to a new level of regional interests.
Member of the Central Election Commission