As expected by different experts parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan were recognized valid. Chairman of the Central Election Commission Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov released that information later the same day (December 27), and added that 15,108,950 voters or 87.8% of all registered voters participated in the elections and, according to the article 44 of the Law on Elections to Oliy Majlis they were legal and undisputable.
Online survey, conducted during end of October and first decade of November asked respondents if they “…know that December 27  elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis and region, district and city Kengashes of people’s deputies will be held?”.
Out of 159 survey participants 82 (51.6%) answered “NO”; 12 (7.5%) referred to the difficulties with responding to that question; and, only 65 (40.9%) answered “YES”.
No generalization from my side but… If we consider that this was just a survey asking if they knew about then upcoming parliamentary elections that didn’t mean that they expressed their will to participate in actual elections.
Such opinion comes after checking out results of other survey by the same information agency which asked people to evaluate “…evaluate current activities of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis?”. Out of 171 respondents more than a half (89, or 52%) answered “NEGATIVE”; 15 (8.8%) participants answered “More negative than positive”; “Positive” and “More positive than negative” options got 41 respondent’s approval which sums up to 24% of all answers.
Ferghana.ru’s article titled “Parliamentary Elections Held in Uzbekistan” emerged many different opinions by those who read it.
максим (maksim) says [ru] that his “grandma was forced to participate in the elections because she was said that in case of not participating her pension for January would be available only after New Year.” Nobody wants to be without money on a New Year night, to meet and “celebrate” it with a poor holiday dinner. Thus, old lady had to go and “contribute” to that theater performance.
Che Lovek (basically, means a Human being), another active participant of the discussion, got mad because went to the elections to vote against everybody but couldn’t find such option. His fellow Dionis responded by: “Since we didn’t have “against everybody” option I filled in boxes of all candidates.” This means his bulletin didn’t meet requirements of the counting machine and had been exluded from calculation as invalid.
Whatever happens in the minds of citizens of Uzbekistan, international observers recognized elections as “democratic and open”. Very often serious politics doesn’t care about real state of affairs and analyzes events through the prism of national interests.
Photo courtesy Uza.uz: President Karimov participating in the election on December 27.
Cross-posted from neweurasia.net.
Habrahabr user pechkin1007 published [RUS] photos showing a construction delay at the “Angstrem-M” microchip plant near Moscow. The plant administration received a €815 million government loan [RUS] in 2008 and committed to starting the construction in Autumn 2009.
Sparsh comments on the still persisting caste discrimination in India: “I always ask elders that society has become more feudal, caste oriented and communal than 60 years ago. No clear cut answers. People still ask with smile surname to map out the caste and ancestry in their minds.”
Kerim Friedman writes about his experience teaching anthropology at Dong Hwa University in Hualien.
Women's Forum interviews blogger Scary Azeri, now also a contributor to the online gender-specific site based in Azerbaijan. The blogger, born and raised in the oil-rich former Soviet republic, speaks about her blog and reaction to it. Crossing many cultural divides, the blog has already become popular with foreigners as well as those living in the South Caucasus region. Global Voices Online interviewed Scary Azeri in July.
Have something you want Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to know? You could try tweeting about it to @hatoyamayukio!
All links in this post link to Japanese content unless otherwise noted.
The Prime Minister started using Twitter during the new year holidays as a means to “bring politics to the people”, in addition to the existing Kantei TV and a mailing list. He also has a new blog called Hato Cafe (鳩Cafe or “Pigeon Cafe”).
みなさん、あけましておめでとうございます。今年もよろしくお願いいたします。今日からツイッターとブログ「鳩cafe」を始めました。http://bit.ly/7OSH1o ご感想など@hatoyamayukioへお寄せください。馴れるまでは１日１ツイートが目標です。Happy New Year, everyone! Best wishes to all in the coming year. Starting today, I have begun my Twitter and blog Hatocafe. Please send your thoughts and impressions to @hatoyamayukio. http://bit.ly/7OSH1o I am aiming to do one tweet a day until I get used to this.
The initiative is the brain child of the “Civilian Working Group to Shorten the Distance between Citizens and Politics” (国民と政治の距離を近づけるための民間ワーキンググループ). Members include playwright Oriza Hirata, blogger and art director Naoyuki Sato, CEO of eWoman, Inc. Kaori Sasaki, and art director Yuji Tokuda. Tokuda also designed the blog.
@hatoyamayukio's follower count is growing steadily, and is around 139,000 as of January 9th.
Is it really him?
This was the focus of discussion for the first few days and the very first issue that @hatoyamayukio addressed by clarifying that the PM sends a draft of his tweets by e-mail to his secretary, who posts it to Twitter.
This disappointed many people, as voiced by Makoto Chikazoe:
「基本的に私が書いています」と言いつつ、結局スタッフの意見を聞いて秘書官が投稿しているのだ。多くのTwitterユーザーが期待していたのは「首相の生の声」である。しかし、実際には何人もの人を経由した首相の声なのだ。これでは結局Twitterである意味はなく、従来通りの記者会見をテレビや新聞でチェックすればよいだけだ。The Prime Minister says “Basically I write the tweets” but actually, it's his secretary that's posting the tweets after discussing the content with their staff. Many Twitter users were looking forward to hearing the “real voice of the PM”. What we're receiving is the voice of the PM filtered through many people, which makes using Twitter pointless since this is already available through traditional press conferences, television, and newspapers.
Akky from Ajiajin [en] has a different opinion:
Although many internet users expressed their disappointment to it, I personally don’t think that prime minister himself/herself should tweet on their mobile gears. It is reasonable as well as US president Obama never used Twitter.
Is he really reading our tweets?
Obviously, this was the next big question. The answer? Perhaps.
私がみなさんをフォローしていることについて「本当に読んでいるのか」「そんなにフォローできませんよね」などご指摘を頂きました。確かに全てのコメントは読めませんが、執務室のモニターにみなさんのコメントを常時表示し、それを読んで少しでもみなさんの生の声を知りたいと思っています。I've received comments about me following all of you, such as, “Are you really reading this?” and “Can you follow this many people?” I certainly cannot read everything, but the monitor in my office regularly displays your comments. And by reading them, I hope to hear as many of your voices as possible.
(Again, the translation is from @hatoyama_y_en.)
@hatoyamayukio will follow everyone who follows him. This is called follow-gaeshi (フォロー返し, literally “follow back”), an action that is considered by many in the Japanese twittersphere to be good etiquette.
The Japanese official site guide twitnavi published a post titled “Please wait a while longer to be followed by Prime Minister Hatoyama” on January 2nd, explaining that there is a limit on the system's side.
Tweets for @hatoyamayukio
@hatoyamayukio hasn't replied to anyone (yet?) but the editorial desk at Mainichi Shimbun @mainichijpedit is hopeful:
@HatoyamaYukio 総理！「Twitterの女王」こと歌手の広瀬香美 @kohmi さんとの勉強会にご参加いただけないでしょうか？毎週水曜日に一緒に政治や経済の勉強をしています。ご検討ください！ #kokkokokko@hatoyamayukio Prime Minister! Will you participate in a study session with the singer Kohmi Hirose @kohmi aka “Queen of Twitter”? We get together every Wednesday to study politics and economics. Please give this a thought! #kokkokokko
@yamachan_run recently started Twitter:
@hatoyamayukio首相が始めたことがきっかけで、ツイッターに登録してみました。 首相がブログ・ツイッターをどのように使いこなして見せるのかすごく気になります。@hatoyamayukio I registered with Twitter because you started tweeting. I'm really interested to see how you will leverage your blog and Twitter.
Comments from blogger Satonao
One of the signs that the Prime Minster was going to dip his toes into social media came when blogger Naoyuki Sato, better known as Satonao, was invited to have dinner with him. Curious, we posted [en] about the seemingly random event last October.
At that time, Satonao reported:
鳩山さんは Twitter 自体を知らなかったようだけど、とても素直に耳を傾けてくれた（どんな話題にも辛抱強く丁寧に相手の目を見て耳を傾ける人だった）。でもまぁなんというか、Twitter を理解してもらうことの難しさよ（笑）It seemed like Hatoyama-san hadn't heard of Twitter but he listened to me speak very intently. (He was someone who listens politely and patiently, regardless of the subject, while looking straight at the speaker's eyes.) Oh but Twitter is so difficult to explain! (laugh)
書き込む姿を見てもらったり、ボクの実況へのみなさんの返信をパソコン画面で見てもらったり（熱心に読んでくれた）、いろいろしているうちにかなり興味はもっていただけた模様。殺し文句は「オバマも使っています！」（笑）。始めてくれるかどうかは全くわからないが、スタートラインには立ってくれたようである。閉じた世界が急にオープンになるのは無理だろう。まずは第一歩。少しずつ。少しずつ。The Prime Minister watched me tweet and read everyone's replies to them. I think he became really interested as I showed him different things. My killer line was “Obama uses it, too!” (laugh) It's impossible for a closed world to open up in an instant. Take one step at first. Slowly. Slowly.
The denmipapa blog is publishing a series of posts explaining the business side of the Japanese film industry. The fifth installment explores why the industry is not set up to release an ultra expensive 3D movie like Avatar. [JA]
Preetam Rai lists the prepaid mobile internet services offered by mobile telcos in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam
GV author Tharum Bun discusses press freedom and the rise of newspapers in Cambodia
baratillo.net from the Philippines identifies the different types of bloggers who write about elections
Critic After Dark discusses the proposal of an actor-politician to impose a quota of Hollywood films to be shown in Philippine theaters