Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 6

Uzbekistan’s law on the operation of political parties, passed by the parliament on December 26, was published in the press on January 7, thereby going into effect. The most significant provisions of the law rule out the creation of parties on a religious or ethnic basis. They also bar propaganda against constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and prohibit direct or indirect funding of parties by religious organizations and the use by parties of property belonging to religious organizations. Parties qualify for legal registration if they enlist at least 5,000 adherents from at least eight of the country’s 14 regional level administrative units. The Supreme Court may suspend a party’s registration for six months for violations of the law, and ultimately ban a party for repeated violations. (Narodnoye slovo, January 7) These provisions clearly seek to reinforce the secular state, forestall a possible emergence of political Islam, and prevent the use of mosque buildings for political purposes. Uzbekistan currently has four registered and active political parties. The largest by far is the National-Democratic party that supports President Islam Karimov.

Pro-Regime Factions in Tajikistan Turn on Each Other.