6.1. In order to form an effective parliament and optimize the activities of the upper Chamber based on its main purpose – regional representation, taking into account the preservation of a unique and effective platform for interaction and coordination of the activities of the Kengashes (Councils) of people’s deputies, the elimination of parallelism in the activities of the Chambers of Oliy Majlis, based on the goals and objectives of ongoing administrative reforms of the New Uzbekistan, the Senate, an upper Chamber of parliament, is being modernized, and the powers of the Legislative Chamber, a lower chamber of parliament, are being strengthened.
5 powers are assigned to the exclusive powers of the Legislative Chamber, then in accordance with the draft amendments this number has reached 12. The number of exclusive powers of the Senate has increased from the current 14 to 18.
- The number of Senate members is being optimized from 100 to 65,
who will be elected in equal numbers of 4 from each of 14 regions at meetings of the deputies of Jokargy Kenes and local Kengashes from among these deputies, while 9 members of the Senate will be directly appointed by the President.
In foreign countries, out of 83 bicameral parliaments, the number of members of the upper Chamber is up to 49 people – in 29 countries, 50–99 people – in 31 countries, 100 or more – in 23 countries. For example, the Senate of Kazakhstan has 50 members, in Tajikistan – 33, in Belarus – 64. The number of members of the upper houses appointed by the heads of state: Italy – 5, Belarus, Tajikistan – 8, Kazakhstan – 10, Ireland – 11, India – 12.
- The consideration and approval of the candidacy of the Prime Minister are enshrined as the exclusive authority of the Legislative Chamber (Articles 94 and 118).
A similar procedure is provided in Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc.
- The control powers of the Senate are being optimized by excluding some of its forms (a control over the execution of the State budget; consideration of the annual report of the Cabinet of Ministers; hearing the report of the Prime Minister on the socio-economic development of the country, etc.) with fixing them as the exclusive powers of the Legislative Chamber (Article 94).
- The powers of the Senate are expanding, including by transferring it some of the President’s powers, as well as strengthening the role in coordinating the activities of representative bodies of state power in the field, in particular:
– election on the proposal of the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, heads of Republican body for combating corruption and the republican anti-monopoly body (Article 95);
– approval of presidential decrees on the formation and abolition of ministries and other republican executive bodies (Article 95), etc.
At the same time, the Senate is vested with the power to perform the function of Parliament to pass laws. (with the exception of the Constitution and constitutional laws) during the period of temporary absence of the Legislative Chamber, caused by the early termination of its powers (dissolution) (Article 95).
The control function of the Senate over the activities of control, law enforcement agencies, and special services is being strengthened. In particular, the procedure for appointing the Prosecutor General and the Chairman of the Accounts Chamber by the President is being introduced with the approval of the Senate, Chairman of the State Security Service – after consultations with the Senate (Article 95).
6.2. In order to further improve the system of checks and balances in the mechanism of state power of the Chamber of Oliy Majlis is endowed with the power to self-dissolve, the decision on which is taken, respectively, by a majority of at least 2/3 of the total number of deputies of the Legislative Chamber or members of the Senate (Articles 94 and 95).
Parliaments in several foreign countries have the right to self-dissolve, for example in Israel, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, etc. At the same time, in some countries the parliament has the power to self-dissolve on the basis of a decision made by a simple majority – in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Turkey; by a qualified majority – in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Cyprus; by a two-thirds majority – in Kyrgyzstan, Poland; three-fifths of the (elected) members in Lithuania.
6.3. The control powers of the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis are expanding, including by consolidating the power to conduct a parliamentary inquiry (Article 103).
6.4. The role of Oliy Majlis in the implementation of the anti-corruption fight and control over financial and budgetary discipline is strengthening, by consolidating the powers of the Chambers of Parliament to hear the annual National Anti-Corruption Report (Article 93 ).
6.5. The system of local government is changing radically.
According to the law, a person holding the position of khokim of a region, district, or city cannot hold the position of a chairman
of the Kengash of People’s Deputies at the same time. At the same time, the Kengash of People’s Deputies is headed by a chairperson elected from among its deputies (Article 120).
The division of the executive and representative power at the local level will become the basis for a profound reform of the entire system of public administration in the country.
6.6. The Cabinet of Ministers is significantly strengthened by intensifying its responsibility to the President and the Oliy Majlis, a status of the Government is changing, and the participation of a lower Chamber of parliament is expanding in its formation.
- it is established that the Cabinet of Ministers carries out its activities within the framework of the main activities of the executive power, determined by the President (Article 114);
- the constitutional norm is abolished, according to which the candidacy of the Prime Minister is submitted for consideration by the President by the party that won the largest number of seats in parliament during the elections.
Instead, taking into account the best foreign experience, the procedure for appointing the Prime Minister and members of the Government is introduced by the President with the approval of the Legislative Chamber. At the same time, the candidacy of the Prime Minister is presented by the President after consultations with all factions of political parties represented in the lower house (Articles 109 and 118).
This change is aimed at expanding the participation of a lower Chamber of parliament in the formation of the government. Unlike the current procedure, the new one for appointing the Prime Minister allows taking into account the opinion of all political forces represented by factions of political parties represented in the Legislative Chamber, which is more democratic, taking into account that all people’s representatives elected by the citizens of the country participate in this process;
- a norm is fixed, establishing that in the event of a threefold rejection of the submitted candidates for the post of Prime Minister, the President appoints the Prime Minister and has the right to dissolve the Legislative Chamber (Article 118);
- The powers and functions of the Government, its responsibility for solving the tasks facing it in the field of ensuring sustainable economic growth, macroeconomic stability, creating a favorable investment climate, reducing poverty, creating decent living conditions for the population, protecting the environment, preserving natural wealth, etc. have been significantly expanded.
Besides, the government is entrusted with the tasks of ensuring openness and transparency, legality and efficiency in the work of executive authorities, improving the quality and accessibility of public services, providing the effective functioning of the social protection system, including the disabled, and support for civil society institutions (Article 115).
6.7. For the first time, the Constitution defines the powers of khokims ( governors) of all levels (implementation of measures aimed at ensuring the economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of territories; formation and execution of the local budget, etc.) (Article 123).
In general, these changes will serve to increase the responsibility of executive authorities, as well as ensure the effective implementation of the tasks facing the government and khokims, taking into account new obligations of the state.
These and other amendments, enshrined in the fifth section of the Constitution, will become the basis and logical continuation of large-scale reforms, including administrative ones, being implemented in our country.
6.8. Judicial reform started in 2017. In accordance with the constitutional reforms of 2017-2021:
– the Supreme Judicial Council was formed; – based on the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court, a single supreme judicial body was established in the fields of civil, criminal, administrative, and economic legal proceedings. – the Supreme Court;
– administrative, and economic courts were formed;
- the autonomy and independence of the Constitutional Court were secured, and its powers were significantly expanded.
The amendments to the Basic Law are a logical continuation of these reforms. The Draft Constitutional Law significantly strengthens the constitutional foundations for the independence of judges, the democratization of the justice system as the most important conditions for ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution and the law, and the implementation of democratic reforms in the country.
– the constitutional foundations of the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan are being strengthened – it is an independent body of the judiciary, ensuring the formation of the judiciary, and compliance with the constitutional principle of the independence of the judiciary (Article 135);
– it is established that judges are inviolable and unaccountable in specific cases and the state ensures the safety of the judge and members of his family ( Article 136);
– a norm is fixed that the financing of the activities of the courts is made from the State budget and should ensure the possibility of full and independent administration of justice (Article 140), etc.
6.9. The range of issues within the competence of the Constitutional Court is being expanded and specified, and the guarantees for the activities of its judges are being strengthened.
a) it is established that the Constitutional Court (Article 133):
– determines the compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan of international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan – until the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signs the laws on their ratification;
For reference: the current procedure provides for the determination by the Constitutional Court of compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan only of the laws themselves on the ratification of international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
– gives an opinion on the conformity of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan with issues submitted to a referendum;
Similar powers of the Constitutional Court are provided for in the Constitutions of Belarus, Russia, etc.
b) Judges of the Constitutional Court are elected for a ten-year term without the right to re-election (Article 132).
For reference: the long term of office of judges of the Constitutional Court without the possibility of re-election is enshrined in the constitutions of several foreign countries. For example, 9-year terms: Bulgaria, France, Italy, Lithuania (with the possibility of re-election after a break in the term), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine; 10-year terms: Georgia; 12-year terms: Germany, Russia.