Uzbekistan restarts constitutional reform discussions

28 February 2023
Flag of Uzbekistan (photo credit: David_Peterson via pixabay)
Flag of Uzbekistan (photo credit: David_Peterson via pixabay)
Uzbekistan was forced to put plans for a rejig of the constitution on ice following an explosion of public unrest in the Karakalpakstan autonomous republic in July. [...] The amendments that the authorities are likely to shine most light upon concern such matters as property rights and taxation. Many suspect the real intention of the reform, though, is to enable President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to extend the amount of time he is permitted to remain in office. This agenda was formally revived in November, when the legislation, which had by then been shorn of provisions designed to weaken Karakalpakstan’s threadbare autonomy, was punted back to lawmakers for further consideration. On February 24, a pair of parliamentary committees – the anti-corruption and justice committee and the democratic institutions, NGO, and self-governance institutions committee – convened for a fresh round of discussion on the constitution. According to the parliamentary press service, proposed novelties to the constitution include a requirement that the state shield citizens from unemployment and poverty. [...] Other provisions pertain to earning and spending power. It will not be permitted for the authorities to impose unfair taxes – defining what those will be is presumably the purview of the courts – and recipients of financial benefits must expect to receive sufficient amounts to allow for the purchase of basic necessities. [...] As occurred the last time around, much is being made of how these amendments are purportedly being put to the public for debate. Groups of academics, legal experts and youth group representatives will gather to volunteer their input. [...] [T]he amendments will be put to a referendum for ultimate approval.
Read the full article here: Eurasianet


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