U.S. echoes ODIHR’s concerns about Uzbekistan’s presidential election: Statement to the PC

The United States echoes the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission’s concerns about Uzbekistan’s March 29 presidential elections, through which President Karimov was reelected to his fourth consecutive term.

The observation mission’s report noted that the elections not only contravened the constitutional limit of two consecutive presidential terms, but were further marked by a lack of genuine political alternatives, restrictions on freedoms of expression and association, and widespread legal and organizational shortcomings.

The United States continues to firmly support the rights of all persons in Uzbekistan, including the right of citizens to take part in genuine and periodic elections marked by meaningful choice.

As such, we remain committed to pursuing democratic reforms and the protection of human rights in Uzbekistan, in support of economic development and regional stability.

In the spirit of partnership with Uzbekistan, we encourage the government to respond to the OSCE report and to fulfill its international obligations and OSCE commitments on democratic elections and civil and political rights.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna