(www.osce.org) - The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) deployed an Election Support Team to Turkmenistan ahead of the 11 February presidential election.
The team, led by Ambassador Lubomir Kopaj of Slovakia, is in Turkmenistan at the invitation of the Turkmen authorities, reports Trend.
"This should be considered as a first step of a renewed dialogue with the Turkmen authorities on electoral processes and a range of other issues," said ODIHR Director Ambassador Christian Strohal. "I welcome this invitation and the Turkmen authorities' expressed readiness for co-operation in a constructive spirit."
The Election Support Team will help the OSCE Centre in Ashgabad to follow the election process. Team members will also familiarize themselves with election-related issues, as this is the first time the ODIHR is involved with elections in the country.
The team is not observing nor monitoring the election as deployment of an election observation mission was not possible because of time constraints. A public report is not foreseen.
The experts are set to meet with representatives of State institutions in charge of the organization of the elections, presidential candidates, civil society organizations and the international community.