The Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan  
 

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The Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan as a supreme legislative
body of regional representation

Activity of senators in regions and public relations

As stated in previous sections, maintaininga balance between national and regional interests is the primary objective of each senator. To deal effectively with such an important task one must look at the issue as a whole.There must be close communication between members of parliament and the different strata of society, an active involvement in a political life, practical and productive interaction with citizens. Of course, it goes without saying that much depends on the degree of transparency of the parliament, close interaction and the presence of effective forms, methods and mechanisms of working with voterson the one hand, and, on the other hand, on the level of legal awareness and political culture of citizens. For the last two and a half years, the upper chamber has been workingon this, an analysis reveals that with resources being available the activity of members of the Senate is steadily increasing and members of parliament are interacting with civil society in many different ways.
In practice, senators’ work in the regions is based on the Senate’s Action Programme, Resolution of the Kengash of the Senate ¹244-I dated November 21, 2006, Recommendations aimed at strengthening relations between senators, who are also deputies of representative bodies of the government at a local level, with voters.

These documents specify that senators should meet the deputies of local Kengashes, community, selfgoverned institutions of citizens, heads of enterprises, institutions and organizations located in the territory of respective regions regularly, make press appearances and deal with citizens’ appeals.
According to the legislation, 84 members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic Uzbekistan are elected among deputies of representative bodies of local governments (local Kengashes of people’s deputies) and therefore they should keep in touch with the region’s voters, members of a political party where may represent, and also with representatives of self-governed institutions of citizens, who put forward a candidate.
Senators represent the interests of the abovementioned institutions in the upper chamber, and since the upper chamber does not work fulltime, they combine their work as a member of parliament with their functions as a deputy of the local Kengash, which is also called upon to resolve a number of issues. Thus, members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis (except for 16 senators appointed by the President) act both in the capacity of a representative of the upper chamber and a deputy of respective local Kengashes. The 16 senators, who are appointed by head of the state, are involved in implementing regional development programmesand interacting with representative bodies in the field, however, their work has more to do with institutional administration, forecasting, conducting an analysis and coordination of observance of state interests, making sure there is a balance between regions, and a holistic approachto the country’s policy.
As specified in «Recommendations aimed at strengthening relations of senators, who are also deputies of representative bodies of the government at a local level, with voters» approved by a Resolution of the Kengash of the Senate dated November 21, 2006, senator periodically, at least twice a year, informs voters of his/ her work. Certain days of the week are allocatedto the senator’s work with voters as determined by the Rules of the corresponding Kengash of people’s deputies.
At a senator’s request, the respective khokimiats (municipal administrations) organise these meetings with voters, allocate a room, notify citizens of the date and place of these meetings, organise individual meetings for people with particular requests or complaints, they send their responsible representatives to participate in receptions and meetings with citizens upon the senator’s demand and in general assist the senator in carrying out his/her functions in the field. Getting feedback from voters is one of the most important aspects of a senator’s work.
As a rule, during meetings with voters the senator reports on his/her work, informs the voters about political and public life of the countryand takes down suggestions and remarks made during such meetings. Voters may raise issues which are within the competence of corresponding state bodies. The senator, without interfering in
the work of these bodies, can the attention of the relevantpeople to the issues so they can try to resolve them.
It is important to point out that meeting voterson their home ground has the great advantage of enabling the senator to get acquainted with existing problems «first-hand», and to resolve them immediately. These meetings also foster dialogue with representatives of almost all strata of society and enable senator to listen more closely to the opinionsof different social and age groups l. Meetings with representatives of local self-governed institutions promote a deeper understanding of the process unfolding in society and establish a real working relationship with the community.
Dealing with citizens appeals is an important part of a senator. Letters received from votersestablishes a dialogue with the people; gives the senator further insight to the problems of ordinary citizens and keeps him by the Law of the Republic Uzbekistan «On citizen’s appeals».
As a rule, a senator receives citizens in a place specifically allocated for these purposes. Senators working full-time in the Senate receive citizens in the room located in the building of the Senate. Citizens can make an appointment to be received at a time convenient for them.
Citizens have the right to submit an application, suggestion and a complaint to the senator in person, through his/her representative or by some other means of communication.
When necessary the senator examining the citizen’s appeal may ensure its consideration by visiting the site.
In considering appeals of citizens within the limits of his/her powers the senator may: apply to respective state authorities to resolve the issue stated in the appeal; submit the issue for consideration by the corresponding Kengash of people’s deputies; initiate a parliamentary inquiry; put forward the issue for consideration by a corresponding committee of the Senate; take other measures in accordance with the legislation.
It is important to point out that the senator, besides considering laws passed by the Legislative Chamber, also assumes a duty to bring them to the notice of local voters. As a rule, this is done by: holding meetings with citizens, members of political parties and representatives of self-governed institutions of citizens; making appearances in the mass media; and at sessions of representative bodies of the government at the local level; submitting proposals on improving ways of informing law enforcement bodies and the public about laws; regional visits by the senators working in the Senate full-time.
Bringing insights of approved laws to the notice of deputies of the local Kengashes of people’s deputies is of a great importance, who in turn should also undertake necessary measures to bring them to the voters’ attention.
The senator should not only focus on explaining approved laws, but also study their results of their practical application (or inadequate application) as stipulated in the above-mentioned recommendations of the upper chamber. Senators pay great attention to important issues such as the availability and effectiveness of subordinate legal acts which are to allow putting laws in force, to prevent a legal vacuum.
It is obvious that senators’ work in the regions and their relationship with the public is multi-faceted and deserves the constant attention of the corps of senators and, just as colleagues from parliaments of other countries do, members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis are constantly trying to do a betterjob. These aspects are a very important part of parliamentary activity, they are vitalto the relationship between state and society, a way of identifying problems, which an individual, society and the country as a whole expect to be resolved.

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