Turkmen President delivers keynote speech at Parliament

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Jan. 10 / Trend , E.Hasanov/ Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov delivered a keynote speech at the Parliament which is again at work after the Dec. 14 elections. He stressed the new MPs have "new powers and duties".

The new edition of the Turkmenistan Constitution adopted in September 2008 stipulates for a doubled number of MPs - 125. Moreover, legislative functions were returned to the Parliament (during the office of former president Saparmurat Niyazov the legislative functions were transferred to the People's Assembly headed by Niyazov).

The new Parliament unites the people of a wide range of occupations, with higher education, and with the average age of 45 years. About 20 percent of the MPs are women. There are representatives of nationalities.

Berdymuhamedov noted that the ongoing reforms in the country are complex, and they are inseparable from the "democratization of state and society". In accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, as well as with the signed international regulations, Turkmenistan has stated "its willingness to protect the human rights and freedoms".

"We believe that the laws regard all citizens and must be respected by all. A strong, democratic state, with a policy aimed at civil harmony, unity and cohesion among all segments of the society, is envisaged to serve the people, to protect their interests," said the Turkmen leader.

The President believes that is why the Dec. 14 parliamentary elections signed in the history of the Turkmen people as an important and a "landmark event". And the launch of the new parliament was an important step "toward building a democratic society in Turkmenistan".

New MPs have to virtually re-create the political, economic, social and cultural legislation. "At present, the absence of certain laws hinders reforms initiated in various sectors, especially in the economy," said Berdymuhamedov.

According to the President, life requires updated laws on land, water, labor, criminal and civil codes, as well as other laws contradicting to requirements. A packet of legislation actions covering the rights and freedoms of the citizens will be also revised. There is a need to pass legislation on social and other payments. Turkmenistan's legislation should be brought in line with the world.

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