On December 4th, for the first time in history, rotation workers were able to elect Uzbekistan’s new President from speciallyinstalled on-site polling stations at LUKOIL’s production facilities in the country.
Nikolay Kulyushin, PR Manager, Region 3
Аs an international corporation, LUKOIL has stridently maintained a policy of non-interference in the political processes of the countries in which it operates. Uzbekistan’s recent presidential election was no exception. However the company also strives to provide any help necessary to ensure that its employees have the opportunity to participate in elections in accordance with local laws. That’s exactly what happened last month in Uzbekistan.
Earlier there had been some apprehension among LUKOIL’s staff in the field who were operating on a rotational basis. “Election Day fell on my shift in the field and I was very worried that I wouldn’t get a chance to vote,” said Timur Sharkaev, Senior Specialist at the Kandym project’s Construction Department. As a young employee, this would have been Sharkaev’s first election spent away from home; he was eager not to let that stop him from voting.
And it was not just Sha rk aev. Approximately 350 LUKOIL Uzbekistan employees would spend Election Day at various facilities at the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady production site. Another two thousand contractor staff at Kandym also wanted to vote. At Southwest Gissar, another major LUKOIL project in Uzbekistan, 250 workers would be in the field on Election Day.
That’s why LUKOIL Uzbek istan reached out to Uzbekistan’s Central Election Commission, which decided to organize an additional two polling stations: Number 503 at the Kandym construction site and Number 502 at the Khauzak production facility. At Southwest Gissar, which had fewer rotational workers, the Commission set up two ballot boxes in an administrative building at the Dzharkuduk base and in the Okkul accommodation camp.
This marked the first time in Uzbekistan’s history that a fully-functioning polling station had been set up at remote production facilities housing workers on a rotational basis. “We were informed in advance that everyone could vote without leaving their work,” said Sharkaev, adding that his colleagues valued the opportunity. “We see the chance to vote not only as our constitutional right, but our responsibility for the country’s future. I want to thank the Election Commission and LUKOIL Uzbekistan’s management for organizing this.”
When Election Day finally came on December 4th, the busiest “production site” polling station (Number 503 at Kandym) had a business-like air. The Commission’s staff diligently registered their voters, carefully cross-checking names with those on their long lists. The main difference between Number 503 and any ordinary polling station was that all of the voters showed up in field gear and hard hats. After receiving the election card, each voter solemnly proceeded into the booth and slipped his or her sheet into the ballot box. Then it was back to work.
Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev – Uzbekistan’s new President
On December 4, 2016, Shavkat Mirziyoyev confidently won Uzbekistan’s early elections for President with 88.61% of the popular vote. Turnout was 87.73%.
Mirziyoyev was born on July 24, 1957 in the Zaaminsky district of Uzbekistan’s Dzhizakskaya region into the family of a doctor. In 1981 he graduated from Tashkent’s Institute of Irrigation and Mechanized Agriculture Engineers as a mechanic-engineer. He then completed a PhD in technical sciences.
From 2003 he became Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister. On September 8, 2016, Shavkat Mirziyoyev was appointed Acting President of Uzbekistan.
Mirziyoyev visited the Kandym project twice in 2016: in April he took part in a ceremony marking the beginning of construction and in September he inspected the site and noted the fast pace of work and progress that had been made.
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