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Expert assessment: the organization of voting in Turkmenistan leaves no room for criticism

28.03.2023 | 03:13 |
 Expert assessment: the organization of voting in Turkmenistan leaves no room for criticism

As ORIENT has already reported, a briefing was held in Ashgabat on Monday, which was attended by the leadership of the country's Central Election Commission, international observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States, the SCO and the Organization of Turkic States.

During the meeting with the media, preliminary results of the work on the results of the parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan, including the CIS Observer Mission, were announced.

Here are the main provisions of the speeches of some of them.

Member of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation Igor Borisov:

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− I want to give an expert professional assessment of the past elections as a specialist engaged in electoral processes. The people of Turkmenistan made a political choice, and we, as part of the CIS observers, were acquainted with the organization and conduct of voting procedures for candidates for deputies of the Mejlis, members of people's councils of regions, districts, cities and local self-government.

The day before, we observed early voting, and on Sunday – the opening of polling stations, the will of voters, the counting of their votes.

We met, communicated and worked in close cooperation with representatives of election commissions at almost all levels – from the Central Election Commission of Turkmenistan, regional election commissions, district election commissions, region election commissions, gengeshliks and precinct election commissions.

At all the polling stations we visited, we also talked with international observers from other organizations, as well as with ordinary voters. They asked the question: "Do you have any complaints or comments?” the answer was negative, which, of course, cannot but please.

Our small group alone, as part of the CIS Observer Mission, visited more than a dozen polling stations in Ashgabat and the regions. In order to make an objective analysis as much as possible, we divided the Mission from the CIS into small groups and traveled to different sites…

Our assessment conclusions were based on the results of personal observations and factual material. We noted the highly professional work of our colleagues from the system of electoral bodies of Turkmenistan. The organization of the expression of will procedures leaves no room not only for criticism, but also even for individual comments.

We are speaking from the point of view of the organization of the electoral process, which promotes the free expression of the will of voters. All the necessary information was provided for review, photo and video filming of election documentation was allowed, unlike in some other countries of the so-called "old democracy".


I would also add that according to the "Statement on the Protection of Citizens' Electoral Rights and Guarantees of Electoral Sovereignty of the CIS Member States", adopted by the Decision of the Council of Heads of State in 2021, the CIS member States condemn any attempts to interfere in the electoral procedures of the CIS member States by other states, their associations, as well as NGOs, and considers such interference is a violation of the principles of sovereign equality of States and non-interference in their internal affairs.

Therefore, we are ready to exchange information with our colleagues, share developments, including within the framework of the Advisory Council of Heads of Electoral Bodies of the CIS member states established last year. Proposals for mutual cooperation were discussed by us at a meeting with the Chairman of the CEC of Turkmenistan, and we are ready to continue this work.

Today, in my opinion, the function of the CIS mission is becoming more relevant than ever, aimed at helping to ensure stability and sustainable development, enabling the people of Turkmenistan to independently choose the further democratic path, without interference and pressure from outside.

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Member of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan Shavkhat Utemisov also shared his impressions:

– As soon as you get to Turkmenistan, the careful attitude of Turkmens to their spiritual heritage, to their rich history immediately catches your eye. In addition, all this is part of the mentality of the people living in this country. Nevertheless, it is also important with what responsible attitude Turkmens treat the future of their country. It is noteworthy how the Turkmen people approached the current elections – consciously, responsibly and seriously. Thanks to this attitude, the elections were held with a high turnout, in full compliance with national legislation. Therefore, I fully share the opinion of the members of the CIS Observer Mission and wish the entire Turkmen people further prosperity and successful development of your state.

Sergey Karavaev, Advisor to the Secretary General of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, represented an important integration body in the Commonwealth. The IPA CIS was established in the early 90s of the last century to conduct consultations, develop recommendatory legislative acts in order to harmonize national legislation and create a common regulatory framework of the CIS member states.

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– Experts of the International Institute for Monitoring the Development of Democracy, Parliamentarism and Respect for the Electoral Rights of citizens of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly member states analyzed the electoral legislation of Turkmenistan, and concluded that it fully complies with international democratic standards.

As for personal impressions from visiting polling stations, meetings with voters, election organizers, etc., we, representatives of the secretariat of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, monitored the preparation and conduct of parliamentary elections in the cities of Mary and Bayramaly. Polling stations opened on time, voting took place, as many other observers note, in an atmosphere of celebration. The voters were active, came to the polling stations in the morning, whole families.

It is necessary to pay tribute to the work of the organizers of the elections, and the level of competence of the members of the election commissions – they were well-trained people who know their business. Moreover, this is the merit, first of all, of the Central Election Commission. We have something to compare with, since we visit different countries due to our official duties, so I can say with good reason that the members of the commissions in Turkmenistan are well prepared. The documentation is in full order. Equipment, polling booths, ballot boxes — all this meets the requirements of international standards. Therefore, it is everywhere, including the most remote polling stations.

Turkmenistan actively participates in the activities of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly. In addition, we hope that the new parliament, which has already been elected, will also continue close cooperation with colleagues from other countries within the framework of the IPA of the Commonwealth.

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