Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Dec.15
By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:
Turkmenistan began its parliamentary elections today at 07:00. Around 283 candidates are running for 125 seats in the Majilis (parliament), the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda of Turkmenistan said.
The country's President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov recently emphasised 'the importance of the upcoming elections to the Majilis as an important socio-political event in the country's life and another effective step towards further democratisation of Turkmen society, strengthening its principles of genuine democracy', according to the country's media outlet.
A distinctive feature of the 2013 parliamentary elections is that for the first time representatives from the two main political parties are competing for the mandates of national parliamentarians.
At least 99 candidates have been registered from the Democratic Party, the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has 21 candidates, Federation of Trade Unions - 89 candidates, the Women's Union - 37, Magtumguly Youth Organisation - 22, as well as groups of citizens - 15.
In total, around 2446 polling stations have been created in Turkmenistan. Additionally 33 polling stations operate under Turkmenistan's diplomatic missions, including in Azerbaijan.
In15 constituencies in Ashgabat, around 32 candidates have been registered, in 15 constituencies of Akhal province - 35, in 10 constituencies of Balkan province - 24, in 27 constituencies of Dashoguz province -59, in 28 constituencies of Lebap province - 66 and in 30 constituencies of Mary province some 67 candidates have been registered.
In accordance with current legislation in Turkmenistan, elections are considered valid if over 50 per cent of the total number of voters has participated in the elections.
National observers from the country's political parties and public organisations, as well as international experts and observers from OSCE and CIS have been invited to the elections.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by S.M.