Geography of Uzbekistan Location: Central Asia, between Afghanistanand Kazakhstan Area: Total: 447,400 sq km Country comparison to the world: 57 Land: 425,400 sq km Water: 22,000 sq km Area – comparative: Slightly bigger thanCalifornia Land boundaries: Total: 6,221 km Border countries: Afghanistan 137 km,Kazakhstan 2, 203 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,099 km,Tajikistan 1,161 km, Turkmenistan 1,621 km Coastline: 0 km (doubly landlocked – note:Uzbekistan comprises the southern part ofthe Aral Sea, with which it shares a 420 kmshoreline)
Religion in Uzbekistan Islam is Uzbekistan‟s biggest religion;in 2009, 96.3% of the populationidentified themselves as Muslims.
Religion statistics Muslim (majority Sunni) 88% Eastern Orthodox 9% Other 3%
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Overview Uzbekistan‟s politics function in the structure of a presidential republic; the President of Uzbekistanserves as both head of state and head of government. The government exercises executive power; legislative power is vested in both the government andthe two parliament chambers: the Legislative Chamber and Senate. Positions in the Uzbek government are mostly reliant on clan membership and politics, instead of onparty membership. The movement to economic improvement in Uzbekistan has not been in line with movement topolitical improvement; instead, the government of Uzbekistan has increased its hold sinceindependence (25 December 1991), increasingly attacking opposition groups. Whereas the names have changed, the institutes of government are still similar to those that existedbefore the Soviet Union fell. The government has defended its control of public assembly, opposition parties, and the media byhighlighting the need for stability and a steady measure to change in the transitional period, citing theconflict and chaos in the other ex-Soviet states (most realistically, neighboring Tajikistan); thismeasure has found credibility among a large share of the Uzbek population, but such a positionmay, in the long run, not be sustainable. In spite of the trappings of institutional reform, the early years of independence saw more resistancethan tolerance of the institutional reforms needed for democratic change to begin. Whatever initial movement toward democracy existed in Uzbekistan in its first days of independenceappears to have been overcome by the inertia of the remaining Soviet-like strong centralizedleadership.
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Government Capital (and largest city): Tashkent Official languages: Uzbek Recognized regional languages:Karakalpak Demonym: Uzbek Government: Unitary presidentialstate President: Islam Karimov Prime Minister: Shavkat Mirziyoyev Legislature: Supreme Assembly Upper house: Senate Lower house: Legislative Chamber
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Executive branchMain office holders Electing the President Office: President Name: Islam Karimov Party:○ Communist Party of the Uzbek SSR (1990-1991)○ People‟s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan(1991-2007)○ Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party (2007-present) Since: 24 March 1990 Office: Prime Minister Name: Shavkat Mirziyoyev Party: Uzbekistan National RevivalDemocratic Party Since: 11 December 2003 The president is elected through popular vote for a seven-year term in elections that cannot be seen as free; FreedomHouse ranks Uzbekistan as absolutely not free in bothpolitical institutes and civil society. The president nominates the PM and deputy ministers;consequently, the executive branch exercises almost allauthority. The judiciary has no independence and the legislature onlyconvenes a few days per year; it has almost no power toshape laws. The president chooses and replaces regional governors. President Islam Karimov‟s first term was extended under theterms of a December 1995 referendum. On 27 January 2002, another referendum took place toextend Karimov‟s term again; the referendum passed and histerm was extended, by act of the parliament, to December2007. Most global spectators declined to take part in the procedureand did not recognize the results, rejecting them as fallingshort of basic standards. In the 2007 presidential election, Karimov had himself re-elected for a theoretically unlawful third term.
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Legislative branch The Supreme Assembly (also the NationalAssembly), or the Oliy Majlis, is made up of150 members (elected to a five-year term) inthe Legislative Chamber, and 100 Senatemembers (of whom 84 are elected at thesessions of district, regional, and citydelegates; the president nominates the other16).
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Parliamentary parties Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party People‟s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Uzbekistan National Revival DemocraticParty Justice Social Democratic Party Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Banned parties Unity Erk/Liberty Democratic Party Hizb ut-Tahrir Birdamlik (Solidarity) Democratic Movement
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Former parties Communist Party of Uzbekistan Erk
Uzbekistan‟s political system:Administrative divisions Uzbekistan is split into 12 viloyatlar (singular– viloyat), one self-governing republic*(respublikasi) and one city** (shahri): Andijon Viloyati (Andijan) Buxoro Viloyati (Bukhara) Farg‟ona Viloyati (Fergana) Jizzax Viloyati (Jizzakh) Xorazm Viloyati (Urganch) Namangan Viloyati (Namangan) Navoiy Viloyati (Navoi) Qashqadaryo Viloyati (Qarshi) Qaraqalpagstan Respublikasi* (Nukus) Samarqand Viloyati (Samarkand) Sirdaryo Viloyati (Guliston) Surxondaryo Viloyati (Termiz) Toshkent Shahri** (Tashkent) Toshkent Viloyati note: administrative divisions have the samenames as their administrative centers(exclusions and alternate spellings have theadministrative center name following inparentheses)
Islam Karimov Born in Samarkand on 30 January 1938. 1st and current President of Uzbekistan; assumed office on 24 March1990. Was the leader of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan from 23 June1989-29 December 1991. Was placed in an orphanage in Samarkand when he was an infant;grew up to study economics and engineering at school. Became an official in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, andthe party‟s First Secretary in Uzbekistan in 1989. Became President of the Uzbek SSR on 24 March 1990; his electionto the Uzbek branch of the CPSU was a result of the failure of hispredecessor, Rafik Nishanov, to put down inter-ethnic conflicts andinstability in the Fergana region. Declared Uzbekistan‟s independence on 31 August 1991;subsequently won the first presidential election on 29 December1991, with 86% of the vote. The election was believed to be unfair, with state-run propagandaand an inaccurate vote count, despite participation from the opposingnominee and leader of the Erk (Freedom) Party, Muhammad Salih. Allowed the involvement of the opposition groups Birlik (“Unity”) andthe Islamic Renaissance Party until his attempts to strengthen powerover Shukrullo Mirsaidov, an ex-elite of the Communist Party whoinitially backed Karimov‟s rise to the Party presidency. The period of political thaw was short-lived; Karimov began toobscure the registration procedure of opposition parties duringelections. As Birlik grew in strength as a “popular movement”, it was forbiddenthe ability to register as a “political party” without the needed 60,000signatures. The Karimov government permitted Birlik one day to collect thesesignatures, of which 25,000 they denied. Permanently resorted to authoritarian approaches to prevent anysignificant opposition.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev Born in Jizzakh Province on 30December 1957. 3rd and current PM of Uzbekistansince 11 December 2003; replacedthe dismissed PM, O‟tkir Sultonov. Ergash Shoismatov is his deputy. Was governor (Hakim) of JizzakhProvince from 1996-2001, andgovernor of Samarqand Province2001 until he was nominated asPM.
Uzbekistan Liberal DemocraticParty Political party in Uzbekistan; considered a left ofcentre party. Won 41/120 seats in the 2004-2005 legislativeelection, and 55/150 seats in the 2009-2010Uzbekistani parliamentary election. Announced on 4 October 2007 that that itproposed nominating President Islam Karimov asits nominee in the 2007 presidential election,even though many believed Karimov was by lawineligible to run for another term. Karimov was unanimously selected as theLiberal Democratic Party‟s presidential nomineeat a party convention in Tashkent on November6; he accepted the nomination.
People‟s Democratic Party ofUzbekistan Political party in Uzbekistan; founded on 1November 1991 after the Communist Party ofUzbekistan chose to sever its relations with theCommunist Party of the Soviet Union, changingits name to its current name. Was led by President Islam Karimov from 1991-2007. Won 28/120 seats in the 24 December 2004 and9 January 2005 legislative elections.
National Revival Democratic Party Right of centre political party in Uzbekistan. One of Uzbekistan‟s four „officially sanctioned‟ parties,together with the People‟s Democratic Party ofUzbekistan, the Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party,and the Justice Social Democratic Party. Was founded in 1995 with a mostly intellectualmembership; has a relatively big amount of femalemembers. Supports a strong sense of Uzbek culture and desiresa cultural renewal, at the same time looking toestablish closer ties with other Central Asian states. Opposes Russia‟s influence in Central Asia; attackedthe establishment of the Eurasian EconomicCommunity on this basis. Took 11/120 seats during the 24 December 2004 and9 January 2005 legislative election; their runner for the2007 presidential election was HushedDustmuhammad. Declared its objective of merging with the Self-Sacrifice National Democratic Party in 2008 as the twoparties shared mutual ambitions; the new group haspreserved the National Revival Democratic Partyname.