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Uzbek Opposition Party Criticizes Pro-Gov't Parties

Tashkent, 21 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The unregistered Uzbek opposition Free Peasants Party (Ozod Dehkonlar Partiyasi) released a statement today criticizing registered parties in the country that are calling themselves "opposition" parties.

The statement said "the greater part of those who consider themselves as fighters for democracy in Uzbekistan are in our firm opinion far from being such."

The statement called for cardinal reforms to be implemented in Uzbekistan in the political system and economy and said the current government was a "feudal regime."

There are currently five registered political parties in Uzbekistan, but all have descended from the original Peoples Democratic Party, which itself was once the Communist Party of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Free Peasants party was refused registration, as were other opposition groups such as the Birlik movement and Erk Democratic Party.

Elections to the Uzbek parliament will be held in late December.

(Uzbek Service-Karimov/Ozod Dehkonlar Partiyasi statement)