Turkmenistan, Ashkhabad, Jan.27 /Trend H.Hasanov/
The CIS observers' mission has started work in Turkmenistan. They have arrived at the invitation of the Turkmen side to monitor the forthcoming presidential election on February 12, the Turkmen government said on Friday.
Observers from European states and international organisations 'which will have an opportunity to observe the election campaign and the election itself on the voting day', were invited earlier, the report said.
The CIS delegation led by chief of staff of the observer mission, Yevgeny Sloboda arrived first. They visited the Central Election Commission (CEC)of Turkmenistan, where they became acquainted with the schedule of events, the list of polling stations and the composition of the district election commissions as well as samples of election documents.
It is expected that about 60 international observers representing the CIS states, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Belarus and Russia and the CIS Executive Committee will take part.
Mr Sloboda said the CIS observers will operate on the basis of generally accepted international norms, independently and without interfering in the state's internal affairs.
"The mission's objective is to promote a free and democratic election," Mr Sloboda told local media. Eight candidates are involved in the presidential campaign including the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who took office in 2007.
According to the Constitution, the President of Turkmenistan must be a citizen of and born in Turkmenistan, aged at least 40 and no older than 70 years, know the state language, have resided in Turkmenistan over the past 15 years and have worked in state bodies, public associations, enterprises, institutions and organisations. The presidential term is five years.