On 8 July 2021, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov had a meeting with Chairman of Uzbekistan's Central Election Commission Zayniddin Nizamhojayev.
During their talks, the parties discussed cooperation between Uzbekistan and the SCO and focused on reforms in Uzbekistan's electoral system.
At the start of the event, Vladimir Norov noted that provisions of the SCO Charter had special significance for the SCO's development.
The document lists the Organisation's main goals and tasks, including efforts to facilitate compliance with human rights and main freedoms in line with international obligations of member states and their national legislation.
He pointed out that the SCO Observers Mission had been established within the Organisation's framework in 2004, and that it served as an international mechanism for monitoring elections and referendums in the SCO region.
Since then, this cooperation aspect has been developing stage by stage. It positively influences the advancement of democratic transformations in the SCO region and strengthens the Organisation's prestige and authority. The Mission's statements play an important role in assessing political processes in SCO countries. In 2021, SCO Observers Mission members conducted their 57th election monitoring mission in Kyrgyzstan.
Zayniddin Nizamhojayev noted that the Law on Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Connection with Upgrading Election Legislation had been passed in 2021. A new Law on Amending and Augmenting the Election Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan has also been passed and has thus provided the election system with a number of innovations, he added.
The Chairman of Uzbekistan's Central Election Commission noted that the new law called for reviewing complaints regarding the actions and decisions of election commissions by courts alone. It also aims to increase the number of members of district election commissions for holding presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan and to provide less information about candidates listed in ballots. It was noted that these regulations, drafted in line with the recommendations of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, will help hold elections in line with international standards and modern trends.
In conclusion, he invited Vladimir Norov and members of the SCO Observers Mission to take part in the upcoming presidential elections as international observers.
In turn, the SCO Secretary-General expressed confidence that the reforms of the republic's election system would have a positive impact on the country's socio-political life and would become an important factor of strengthening generally recognised democratic principles, including open, transparent, fair, unbiased and independent elections.
He thanked his counterpart for paying substantial attention to the activities of the SCO Observers Mission and noted that the SCO Secretariat was ready to take the most active part in the upcoming presidential election in Uzbekistan.