Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 17
The parliamentary election was held in Turkmenistan on Sunday. According to the preliminary estimates of experts and observers, one can say that the political position of the parliament as a whole, as well as its loyalty to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's policy will remain unchanged after the election.
According to the estimates of the organizations, which monitored the preparation for this important political event in the country, the vast majority of candidates took a pro-government position as in the last parliamentary election held in 2008. As a result of that election, the number of MPs increased from 65 to 125.
This had been the first election since Turkmenistan's independence. Other parties, along with the Turkmen Democratic Party, were allowed to take part there. This was fixed in the new constitution, which does not define Turkmenistan as a one-party country. However, none of the opposition parties participated in the election.
Sunday's election was the first time two parties participated in the elections. The Democratic Party and the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs competed for parliamentary mandates. Moreover, the Association of Trade Unions, the Women's Union, Magtymguly Youth Organization and several groups of citizens nominated their candidates for parliament.
Observation missions from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) arriving in Ashgabat to observe the elections made the news. In spite of the fact that these missions were short-term ones and had a relatively small size, it was considered a positive factor in the election process.
In accordance with Turkmenistan's legislation, a candidate for MP who gathers over half the votes is considered the winner.
The official results of the elections must be published in the press, no later than ten days after the election.
Turkmenistan today is a republic, directed toward reform and development. Adhering to the position of neutrality in political and military matters, the republic is fully committed to economic cooperation with countries of the region and the world. It plays an important role in the global energy arena and follows the strategy of diversification of important energy resources.
Today, both in the country and outside it, few people doubt the general policy of the state will change after the parliamentary elections, and Turkmenistan will stand firmly on the earlier chosen path of multidimensional and dynamic development.
Trend commentator Viktoriya Zhavoronkova
Translated by N.H., L.Z.
Edited by C.N.