Turkmen leader: Presidential elections must be held with intellectual input

Turkmen leader: Presidential elections must be held with intellectual input

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Feb. 7 / Trend H. Hasanov /

Touching upon the upcoming presidential elections on February 12, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, said that they must be held in an intellectual atmosphere in accordance with the national traditions of the Turkmen people reflecting the richness of the spiritual world of the Turkmen people," Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said today.

Eight candidates, including the incumbent president who has been in office since 2007, will participate in the current campaign.

During a video conference, the president gave specific instructions to properly render the necessary services at the polling stations, as well as the cultural programme.

'The president said that this is an important socio-political event to be held in the atmosphere of openness and transparency', the statement said. 'It is necessary to create all conditions for the citizens to be able to vote for the most
worthy candidate for the post of the Turkmen President'.

He said that it is also necessary to ensure the presence of foreign journalists, observers and experts in this process.

President Berdimuhamedov emphasized the importance of the compliance of the upcoming elections with the country's Constitution and wished success to all candidates for the post of the Turkmen President."

"Great accomplishments symbolizing the prosperity of the Motherland, happiness of people, the welfare of the country testify to the success of our noble endeavors," the president said.

Turkmen MPs earlier reported that the upcoming presidential elections in Turkmenistan will be based on the Constitution and taking into account the UN and the OSCE international election
standards.

This topic was discussed during the meetings between President Berdimuhamedov, the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and U.S Assistant Secretary of State
for South and Central Asia Robert Blake in Ashgabat. In particular, the representative of the U.S. State Department said that this most important social and political event will be a good opportunity to demonstrate the achievements of democratic, political and socio-economic reforms in Turkmenistan.

Under the constitution, a Turkmen president should be a citizen born in Turkmenistan. The candidate must be at least 40 years old, though not older than 70, know the state language, have lived in Turkmenistan during the past 15 years and worked in state bodies, public associations, enterprises, institutions and organizations.

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