In 2018, a platform for collective digital addresses Mening fikrim
(“My opinion”) was developed in Uzbekistan. To publish a petition, one needs to log in and fill out the form by selecting one of the available topics. After filing, the petition undergoes an examination on whether it complies with the legislation. The parliament accepts the petition for consideration if it collects at least 10 thousand votes.
Since the resource’s launch, citizens have submitted more than 3.8 thousand collective petitions. According to the portal’s data, the Legislative Chamber of the Uzbek Parliament considered seven petitions that collected more than 10 thousand votes; two more petitions were assessed at the local level.
A petition for improving tree protection appeared in May 2018 and collected the required number of votes in 12 days. On July 27, it became the first online petition considered by the Lower House of the Oliy Majlis. The members of Parliament recognized the problems of the preservation of the forest resources, but approved only a part of the proposals from the petition.
To one degree or another, the Legislative Chamber approved petitions for the cancellation of powers of attorney for the right to use and drive vehicles for close relatives, for the installation of the countdown traffic lights, for the prevention of cruelty to animals and for the opening of Shakhrisabz branch of Karshi State University.
Unfortunately, in other Central Asian countries, online petitions do not have legal force: they have nothing to do with the legislation. Some of them do attract the attention of the authorities. However, most often this happens when they are part of a larger campaign or because of the massive public discontent.
For example, online petition against uranium mining in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan in 2019 collected about 33 thousand digital signatures. The uranium exploration and mining license was revoked. However, citizens also protested in several cities of the country and there was a wide discussion on social networks. Therefore, we cannot say that the license revocation was the result of the petition only.