The Central Committee for Elections and Referendums in Turkmenistan conducted the briefing announcing initial results of the elections of the Mejlis deputies, members of the People’s councils and gengeshys.
Reporters of big foreign and national news agencies, electronic, printing and other media as well as international observers took part in the meeting.
Prior the announcement of the initial results of the elections, the Chairman of the Central Election Committee informed the participants about large-scale work that has been done for the preparation and organized conduct of this important social and political events and expressed the gratitude to the members of the electoral process. Special gratitude has been expressed to the representatives of mass media who provided information support of the campaign throughout its entire course.
Special mention was made on the fact that three political parties, namely the Democratic Party, the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Agrarian Party as well as the groups of the citizens took part in the election campaign. The formation of multiparty system in the country and hence, the intensification of pre-electoral competition were another important step toward the democratization of the State and society.
Nomination of the candidates to the deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of velayat, etrap and city the People’s councils as well as gengeshys was held from January 24 to February 22, 2018. Political parties held the conferences in the periods set out by the Law where their candidates have been nominated. It was highlighted that the elections held on March 25 are distinguished from the previous ones by higher number of registered candidates and by the election of four different categories in one day with the participation of three political parties. It was the first time when video cameras were installed at polling stations in the velayats and Ashgabat and live online broadcasting of the election process was made on the website of the Central Election Committee from 0700 to 1900.
Having checked the documents submitted by political parties and by the groups of the citizens, the Central Election Committee has registered 284 candidates to the deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, 489 candidates to the members of the People’s councils of Ashgabat and velayats, 2,570 candidates to the members of the People’s councils of cities and etraps and 13,215 candidates to the gengeshys for the period from February , 3 to February , 27.
The candidates were nominated on free and equal basis and the entire procedure of the nomination and registration had open character with the compliance with the requirements of national legislation.
The election campaign and mass media coverage have started from the moment of the registration of the candidates until March 24, 2018.
According to the Election Code, political parties, social associations, Turkmenistan citizens, candidates, groups of the citizens were provided with free pre-election promotion rights. The candidates were provided with free and equal conditions to mass media. Meetings of the candidates with the electorate took place in all velayats of the country and the capital.
Information on the decisions, provisions and instructions, news related to the election campaign were operatively placed on the website of the Central Committee for Elections and Referendums in Turkmenistan.
TV and radio channels regularly broadcasted the news on the course of the elections. It also broadcasted the video explaining the process of the voting, early voting, order of ballot papers filling.
According to the Election Code of Turkmenistan, the candidates to the Mejlis deputies, members of the People’s councils and gengeshys were provided with free air time on TV channels Altyn Asyr: Turkmenistan, Miras and Yaslyk.
Printing media and central newspapers regularly published related materials in Turkmen (Turkmenistan) and Russian (Neutral Turkmenistan) languages.
Capabilities of national internet resources were widely used as well. In particular, the websites of the State News Agency (TDH) and “Turkmenistan: the Golden Age” put operative information on the course of the election campaign in Turkmen, English and Russian languages.
Information materials were also published in six velayat and capital newspapers like Ashgabat, Ahal Durmushy, Balkan, Dashoguz Habarlary, Turkmen Gundogary, Maru-shahu Jahan”.
The elections of the deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the People’s councils and gengeshys were highlighted by the representatives of foreign mass media accredited in Turkmenistan and arrived in our country by the invitations.
Therefore, all types of media of the country provided equal terms by the length and volume for the highlight of the pre-election activity of the candidates who carried out active work among the electorate.
It is worth mentioning that the course of the elections was monitored by 4,072 national observers authorised by the political parties, non-governmental organizations, groups of the citizens and by the candidates as well as 142 international experts from the United Nations Organization, Commonwealth of Independent States and the organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutes and Human Rights, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Islamic Cooperation Organization, United States of America, Austrian Republic, United Arab Emirates, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Turkey, People’s Republic of China and other states.
Announcing initial results of the elections, the Chairman of the Central Election Committee noted that in general, 3,017,801 people of 3,291,312 people took part in the voting what made 91.96 percent of the total electorate. This fact indicates high civic activity of the population, its deliberate intent to become direct participant of further process of democratic changes in Turkmenistan.
For the voters who was not able to be at their polling stations on the day of the elections had an opportunity to vote earlier from March 15 to March 24. Three percent of the electorate used such opportunity of early voting.
2604 polling stations in the country and 39 polling stations at diplomatic missions and consulates of Turkmenistan abroad were opened for the elections.
According to the information provided by the Central Election Committee, the elections were recognized as valid.
Final vote counting taking into account the information from some polling stations from diplomatic missions and consulates of Turkmenistan abroad, which arrive with some delay due to the time difference, is ongoing. Final results of the voting will be held and published in the nearest future.
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