Uzbekistan is a republic having an authoritarian presidential rule. Uzbekistan (official name: Republic of Uzbekistan) has made little progress towards achieving political freedom after declaring its independence from erstwhile Soviet Union in 1991.
President is both the chief of the state and head of the government. President is elected by popular vote for a seven-year term. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and holds all most all the executive powers. He selects and replaces provincial governors. Prime Minister and cabinet ministers are also directly appointed by the President with confirmation by the parliament.
The legislature is bicameral in Uzbekistan. The parliament called Supreme Assembly consists of: Senate (the upper house) having 100 seats with 84 members elected by regional governing councils to serve five-year terms and 16 are appointed by the President; and the Legislative Chamber (the lower house) having 120 seats with its members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. President and the executive branch completely dominate the legislature and can dissolve it if they wish so. Supreme Assembly meets only a few days every year and has little power to shape laws. The people of Uzbekistan have very limited political rights.
Judiciary is not at all independent in Uzbekistan. It is subservient to the President who appoints all judges and can remove them from office at any time. The main source of the law is the constitution of December 1992. The country's legal system is an evolution of Soviet civil law but lacks transparency. Uzbekistan is a member if CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). CIS acts as a symbolic organization possessing only coordinating powers related to trade, finance, lawmaking, and security among the member states. The judicial language used in the country is Uzbek; having an interpreter is possible.
Uzbekistan is not ruled by law. The law and order situation in the country is poor. Executions are regarded as state secrets and relatives are sometimes not informed until months after the execution has occurred. Foreign nationals cannot expect an impartial trail from the country's judicial system. The country is completely plagued with corruption; widespread throughout various levels of government. Obtaining lucrative positions through bribery is a common practice in the country.
Major political parties
Uzbekistan is a state dominated by the supporters of the President. The government severely represses all political opposition. The major political parties in the country are:
- LDPU (Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party ) – advocates liberal and democratic economic values;
- NDP (Uzbekistan People's Democratic Party) - former Communist Party, still broadly advocates communist ideology;
- Self-Sacrifice National Democratic Party - advocates building an open society based on market-economy while at the same time supporting national interests; targets youth as its support base;
- Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party - advocates mainly revival of Uzbek culture, promoting solidarity with the rest of Central Asia.
Major political leaders
President: Islom KARIMOV (since 1991, re-elected in 2000) - Self-Sacrifice National Democratic Party, having support of all parties in the Supreme Assembly
Prime Minister: Shavkat MIRZIYAYEV (since December 2003) – non-partisan
Next political election dates
Presidential: Year 2014
Supreme Assembly: December 2009