At a meeting with members of the constitutional commission on the formation of proposals for amendments to the Basic Law on June 20, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has proposed to adopt amendments to the Constitution through a democratic referendum.
At the beginning of the meeting, Shavkat Mirziyoyev answered questions about why a constitutional reform is needed right now and how ordinary people will profit from it.
Answering the first question, the president, “as a member of the commission who participated in the adoption of our current Basic Law,” agreed that the Constitution of Uzbekistan fully meets the best foreign experience and international standards and requirements. “There is no doubt about that.”
“The Constitution of Uzbekistan remains a solid foundation for all our achievements over the years of independence,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
At the same time, “the current dangerous time, the difficult situation around us, requires that we treat the fate of our Motherland with even greater responsibility and make urgent strategic decisions.”
The President stressed that the worldview of the people of Uzbekistan has changed a lot in the six years since the change of the country’s leadership.
“Humanity has entered the scientific and technological stage. Radical transformation processes and competition are intensifying in the world. The peoples and states that think about tomorrow are seriously thinking about their future today as never before,” he said.
The Head of State also asked questions: “What is the place and value of a person in our state and society at such a decisive time and in the future? What political, legal, economic, social, spiritual and humanitarian principles, values and interests will be a priority for us? And most importantly – what will the constitutional reforms give to the ordinary population, the well-being of our people, the development of our society and state?”
The answers to these questions should be reflected in the Constitution through carefully developed legal norms, “this is the requirement of the time”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized.
“The updated Constitution should create a solid legal basis and a reliable guarantee of long-term development strategies for our country, a prosperous tomorrow for our people as a whole,” he said.
The first direction of reforms of the Constitution is towards “a person, his life, freedoms, honor and dignity, inviolable rights and interests.”
The President stated that the idea “In the name of human dignity” and the main principle of the current stage of development “Man – Society – States” should be deeply integrated into the essence of the Constitution and become the main value in practice.
“From now on, the honor and dignity of a person should be in the first place – in all areas,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
“Society and the state can develop steadily in harmony only when a person receives upbringing and education in decent conditions, lives a prosperous life … A person is not a means to achieve a goal for the state and society, on the contrary, the main essence and source of this goal and the highest value,” he declared.
“In the New Uzbekistan we are creating human dignity and human interests are above all! Therefore, the promotion of human dignity should in fact be a constitutional duty and a priority task of state authorities,” the President said.
“Of course, we do not have the opportunity to discuss in detail with you today all the important and relevant proposals that our people submitted to the commission. I have touched on only a few of them. At the suggestion of the commission, I propose to consider the draft developed by the parliament at a nationwide discussion and adopt it through a referendum,” the Head of State said.
The President noted that under the current legislation, the Parliament itself has the right to amend the Constitution. According to Article 127 of the Basic Law, amendments to the Constitution are made by a law adopted by a majority of at least two thirds of the total number of deputies of the Legislative Chamber and members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, respectively, or by a referendum.
“However, I think that if we carry out a constitutional reform through a referendum, relying on the opinion and support of our citizens, then this will be the will of our people – a real people’s Constitution,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
According to him, this is consistent with the principle that “the only source and author of the Constitution is the people.”
“Then each of our compatriots will be able to proudly say: ‘The new Constitution of Uzbekistan is our Constitution,` he said.
Some powers of the President of Uzbekistan should be transferred to the Oliy Majlis (Parliament).
“We need to establish in our Constitution the rules for the formation of the government and the expansion of the powers of the Oliy Majlis in ensuring its effective functioning.
I propose to introduce a procedure for the approval of the decree on the appointment of the head of the Anti-Corruption Agency by the Senate.
“The issue of discussing the annual national report on the fight against corruption, prepared by the government, should be included in the competence of our parliament,” the President said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev also stressed the need to continue working to strengthen the constitutional basis of the powers of the Oliy Majlis to exercise parliamentary control.
“To this end, I propose to transfer some of the powers of the President to the Oliy Majlis. For example, it would be expedient to transfer to the Senate the power to appoint and dismiss the chairman of the Chamber of Accounts. In this way, the Chamber of Accounts will become an important tool of parliamentary control over the formation and execution of the state budget,” he added.
Text & Photo: Embassy of Uzbekistan in Vienna