Bokhodir Choriyev’s address to the voters
Esteemed compatriots! Dear friends!
Let me wish you all the best for the spring holiday of Navruz!
Spring and Renewal is what our people have been waiting for several long decades. Uzbekistan has been subjected to the occupation by dictator Karimov and his cronies for 25 years. This quarter-century reign has driven the country to near catastrophe in all spheres of the society. Currently there is a deep economic recession, drastically diminished quality of life, staggering unemployment and extreme poverty and an omnipresent corruption on all levels of government. However, these factors are contributing to an even greater tragedy than the above-mentioned – our people have been losing their spiritual and moral values.
Of course, such a tragic situation will eventually come to an end. World history has ample examples of nations suffering under similar circumstances, some even losing their sovereignty completely. But they eventually managed to recognize that people’s fate lies in its own hands and overthrew the yolk of tyranny and despotism and the justice was restored once again. Dictator Karimov and his posse of criminals are the thieves of the country’s wealth. They are the reason why Uzbeks have lost even the mere promise or hope of having a life of dignity and prosperity. All they aspire to is getting even richer, by selling off the country’s assets, and extending their own reign by state-sponsored terrorism.
They have amassed billions of dollars through corruption. Hordes of the regime’s flunkies and lackeys are willing to destroy anyone who stands in their way. They are in charge of the military, special security services, law enforcement and the penitentiary system.
It might seem that they are infallible and almighty but they are not. Let me remind you and every tyrannical regime in the world has eventually been overthrown. There are many examples: the Soviet Union, communist regimes in Eastern Europe, ousted regimes in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. And later also in Tunis, Egypt and Libya as well as dozen of other examples. The people of those countries probably thought – like we do today – that they would never rid themselves of the tyrants perhaps believing them to be almighty. However, as soon as they themselves realized that they were the masters of their own fate, formed political movements and mounted relentless campaigns, they were able to prove to the entire world that dictatorships are not as indestructible as they might seem.
Esteemed compatriots! Dear friends!
When we created the People’s Democratic Movement Birdamlik (solidarity) in 2004, we set out to protect our human rights against the rampant lawlessness and tyranny of the Uzbek governing elites. We chose non-violence as our method of putting up the fight. For the last 11 years the movement has stoically been fighting the regime.
Non-violence is the most effective method of putting up such a resistance while minimizing casualties.
Today, Birdamlik has nominated a candidate to take part in an alternative election for the Uzbek president position. In the near future, with approval and support of our people, we will put an end to Karimov’s dictatorship.
After the dictatorship has been ousted, we will have to make swift decisions and take bold action in order to steer the economy out of its current crisis, organize fair and free elections and in order to create the solid foundation for governance based on the principles of fairness and democracy. We will have to carry out comprehensive reforms in all spheres of life in Uzbekistan.
We believe that in order for Uzbekistan to be a fully liberated and developed country, its political and social system should be based on democratic principles of freedom and active civic society. The foundation of that can be found in the principle of private property. We are calling this the Society of Private Ownership.
The Society of Private Ownership is first and foremost the type of governance that is based on the rule of law and fairness. Private owners will have opportunities to express their political will and have their rights legally protected.
The Society of Private Ownership will be based on the principles of market economy. The government will only be able to interfere in the economy strictly within the legal framework.
The Society of Private Ownership means social policies that are based on our traditional and spiritual values.
The Society of Private Ownership will enjoy wealth growth after the land has been distributed among all Uzbek citizens – free of charge and for the lifelong use. Everyone will be able to decide for himself or herself what to do on their land.
The Society of Private Ownership is when half of the state budget is dedicated to education. And in which education employees can see their wealth increase as well. And in which the new generation will be much better educated.
The Uzbek people stand to be the biggest winners from the Society of Private Ownership, while the current thieves in government stand to be the biggest losers. That is exactly why the regime is afraid of us and has been trying to discredit Birdamlik by provocations against its activist members. But we have not given up and never will. I am personally pleased that more and more of my compatriots come to find out about the Society of Private Ownership and support the idea. This gives me and my fellow activists strength to go on and hope for the future.
The Society of Private Ownership means lowering customs and tax rates. It means privatization of all manufacturing. It means favorable conditions for investors. It means double-citizenship. It means reforming the current exit visa regime.
The Society of Private Ownership means new highways and train tracks, improved electric and gas grid as well as better drinking water.
The Society of Private Ownership means complete privatization of the country’s healthcare.
The Society of Private Ownership means replacing the present national currency with a new one called Turan.
Together we can build a new way of life in Uzbekistan – a society of free private owners. We set our sights high and hope to gain your support.
Dear friends! I call on you to support my candidacy in the alternative election for the Uzbek president.
I am ready to serve you and my people!
With the deepest of respect,
Presidential candidate in Uzbekistan
Chairman, People’s Democratic Movement Birdamlik