Sunday, 23, February, 2020

The first session of the new Legislative Chamber was held today in Tashkent, in which the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev made an address. Highlights:

“We are living in a time full of threats. The events happening around us are not some minor issues. Bear in mind that there are a lot of people who want to see Uzbekistan a better place in the future, however there are even more of those who wish that we fail, and that nobody will come from the outside to ensure progress in our country. You are no ordinary men. If a deputy is awake, if his heart and conscience are awake, then the ministers, the government, and the parliament will also be awake.”

“Like in the best parliaments of the world, the Uzbek parties must debate to pass bills, which best represent the interest of their electorate and their political interests. To this end, there must be a healthy competition between the ruling party and the opposition. If we don’t have that, then there will be no competition. Have no fear, learn it. When someone makes some proposal, don’t intimidate that very person... If that person is wrong, please prove him wrong and justify your own position.”

“The deputy must show example through living up to the people’s trust, telling their pain and dedicating himself to solve their problems.”

“The lower house must become a venue for true debate on every bill, a sort of battlefield between various public interests, and a genuine school of democracy.”

“This is in your own hands. Summon the ministers and their deputies if necessary, close the doors, have discussions. Bring initiatives, if necessary demand their sacking.”

“Then it will be even easier for me as well, if a law works, if people see improvements. If there are laws that everyone abides by, then society will change, mindsets will change, the situation will change, and there will be tangible results.”

“Over the past five years, the Chamber's activity has revived significantly, with 540 bills, or 2 times more than in 2010-2014. The Code of Civil Procedure, the Economic Procedure Code, the Code of Administrative Procedures, and the Electoral Code have been adopted.”

“In the last two years, direct effect regulations have also been developed.”

The practice of holding public discussions on each draft bill submitted into the lower house has been implemented. After that, about one thousand provisions in over 400 bills were improved based on citizens' suggestions. Taking into account public comments and criticism, 16 bills were rejected and returned to the initiator entity. However, not a single bill was returned in 2010-2014.

“Indeed, MPs, who represent the people, using their constitutional authority, must be bold, demanding and resolute, and not pass bills that do not serve the interests of citizens. If a law is adopted,  it must bring change into lives.”

“In the past period, new forms and mechanisms of parliamentary control have been implemented. In particular, the Legislative Chamber introduced the procedure for hearing government members' answers to deputies’ questions - the Government Hour. In addition, since 2019, the practice of considering candidates for the Cabinet of Ministers in the lower house of parliament was introduced.”

“An efficient parliament can help us achieve effective functioning of the executive. That is why it is necessary to introduce a procedure for clarification to parliament and local councils on the issues that are causing a public debate.”

“It is well-known that now the central government provides significant funds for socio-economic development of the provinces. However, the deputies elected from these provinces are not properly engaged in the control over proper and effective use of these funds. And, there are often cases of misappropriation, extortion and corruption of the provided funds.”

“For the budget’s every soum, the Ministry of Finance should report to the public and all government bodies must be wary of the parliament for the targeted use of public funds. Then there will be order and everyone will be accountable to the parliament.”

“It is necessary to elevate the system of dialogue with people to a new level, to launch an e-portal and mobile apps, which will allow to connect deputies with their constituents. In this system, the voter has the opportunity to observe the daily work of the deputy, to discuss the draft laws and to comment on them. That is, let the voters directly evaluate the activity of an MP. Only then will there be a real bridge between the citizen and the parliament, which our people expect from us.”

“It is desirable to improve the work of the My Opinion web-portal, to discuss the complaints on TV and other mass media with the participation of deputies, experts and the public.”

“MPs should set an example for all by their behavior, culture and ethics.”

“It is a great happiness to have confidence, respect and esteem of the people. Each and every one of us has to live up to this confidence of our brave, hardworking and noble people. It is not only our civil, but, above all, our duty before our motherland”.

“It should be noted that these elections have given rise to political knowledge of the public and some trust to the parties. I watched the debates. Public insistence on standards has also increased. Our people are asking for the most important issues to be addressed.”

“Most importantly, competition between parties should focus on solving the social problems, rather than building fake reputation. Adopt one law, not ten, which will address the people's problems and dreams.”

“Solve only one problem a month, and there are 12 months a year. When you talk to yourself, ask honestly - what have you done. Solve one problem a month, and you will make your history.”

“The media is evolving, and when people see you, they say, this is the MP we elected, and now they will ask you for an account”.

“Our laws have the design of the 80s. Laws may be amended, but the mindset of the lower and middle level officials have stagnated and are at the year 1975. We cannot pursue reforms with them. Bear this in mind. Regardless of the hardships, we will continue to appeal to young people.”

“But one thing is certain: training a young official is not easy. Many young people have knowledge in IT, languages, but it takes patience to communicate with people, to know the people’s pain, to be a true leader.”

“Why am I assigning young people in the ministries and in many places? Many people don't like it. We are all the people of yesteryear, we are temporary people, we have come from different times. Look at the young ministers now, they know four languages, they are competitive, they are very courageous. But us, we lived in a time of fear, and this had had complications on us. This is a serious complication. To overcome it, a new person has to be born, a new society must emerge. We need to build that society.”

“Tomorrow, we will elect the prime minister at a joint meeting and recommend the ministers. It is very difficult, I wish there were younger candidates. Why am I bringing in the “Umid” graduates (students educated abroad on the government scholarship program)? For the sake of having a choice. If he is a dedicated person, I am ready to give any salary. If he is a patriot, I am ready to provide every condition. But one thing is certain: many refuse to come back and to work. We need to know that. That is a lesson for us.”

“I congratulate Alisher Kadyrov, the youngest leader of the National Revival party over his reelection as deputy and the deputy speaker of the chamber.”

“There were indeed shortcomings in the elections. In Tashkent, for example, the voter turnout was low.”

“You meet voters every month so let's get rid of this trend. Doing so will change the situation in the next elections.”

“As Theodore Roosevelt said - The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything. We need to change our laws, strategies, and attitudes."

“Of course, the law enforcement agencies have been working on every violation of the election process.”

“We have a lot of problems in the health care sector. People are not happy with the healthcare, the cost of medicines. The quality of our medical schools is not satisfactory. We currently need 13,000 doctors.”

"In general, the Legislative Chamber has been entrusted with overseeing the health care system. Unfortunately, the Chamber's work in this area is not yet at the level that we expected, and I am seriously concerned about this”.

“Holding forums with foreign experts to improve the national electoral system will give results. But only forums are not enough. The people should be consulted.”

“Nobody from the outside will ever do anything for the Uzbek parliament.”

“We are grateful to our and foreign media. They were very active in the election process. You saw during the debates how the journalists asked tough and problematic questions. Media representatives are also working on themselves, and they are changing. I would like to thank all the journalists for this.”

“Many people do not like journalists, but I like them”.

“I will deliver an address the parliament on Friday, January 24.”

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