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Uzbekistan Publishes New Law On Parties --> (RFE/RL) April 13, 2007 -- Uzbek media have published the text of a new law on political parties.

The new law is intended to strengthen the role of political parties in the government. Powers are currently centered largely on the presidency.

According to Uzbek media, the law gives political parties more influence in the selection of regional and local officials and the naming of a prime minister.

Media report the law is in keeping with President Islam Karimov's principle of moving "from a strong government to a strong civil society."

There are currently five registered political parties in Uzbekistan, all pro-presidential.

Uzbek media did not indicate the new law would enable opposition parties or movements to register. Some opposition groups such as Birlik, Erk, and Ozod Dehkonlar have been trying for years to do so.