In our Independent, constantly Neutral Homeland, under the leadership of our Arkadag, much attention is paid to the further democratization of society, ensuring the guarantee of citizens' suffrage. Elections as an important socio-political event are held in accordance with the principles of national democracy, as well as with modern international requirements.
In Article 4 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan stipulates that in Turkmenistan the highest value of society and the state is a person, the state is responsible to every citizen and protects his rights. Consequently, elections, being one of the basic political rights of citizens in our public life, are an event aimed to ensure their voting rights and freedoms. And the protection of the electoral rights and freedoms of citizens is a responsibility during the election period. The election campaign itself consists entirely of legal requirements. Compliance with legal requirements is a big responsibility.
An election campaign is the term for the implementation of appropriate events for the preparation of elections and their organized conduction in the order prescribed by law.
Elections are appointed by the Mejlis of Turkmenistan three months before the end of the term of office of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the Halk Maslahaty and the Gengeshes.
Elections of deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the velayat, etrap, city Halk maslahaty and Gengeshes are held on the last Sunday of March.
Elections of members of velayat, etrap, city Halk maslahaty and Gengeshes may be held in other terms in case of a change of the administrative-territorial structure.
Within the events to ensure the principles of democracy, our country has legislatively created the possibility of holding national and local referendums.
The right to decide a national referendum belongs to the Mejlis of Turkmenistan.
The right to decide a local referendum belongs to the corresponding Gengesh.
The date of the nationwide referendum is appointed by the President of Turkmenistan, and the date of the local referendum is appointed by the corresponding Gengesh.
Not later than five days after the decision of holding elections and the referendum, it is subject to be published in the media.
The Central Commission for holding elections and referendums in Turkmenistan (hereinafter the Central Election Commission) seventy days before the elections and referendum announces the start of the election campaign. This information is brought to the attention of the public through the mass media.
After that, the Central Election Commission, holding its meeting, approves the election program. The program primarily regulates the costing of the upcoming elections, draws up the distribution of material assets necessary for the elections and their distribution, preparation of samples of election documentation, preparation of campaign and educational videos on the elections, the appointment of national observers and the compilation of their list, invitation of foreign ( international) observers and their registration, the formation of election commissions of districts and etraps, cities, settlements, gengeshliks, the formation of polling stations, determining their center and borders, compiling voter lists for polling stations, conducting training seminars with election commissions, nominating candidates for the elections and registering them, registration of candidates' proxies, organizing meetings of candidates with voters, preparation of ballots and providing them to the precinct election commissions, conduction of elections and other organizational works.
At every elections held in our country, work on the free and equal nomination of candidates in the election campaign is carried out explicitly and openly, in the endeavors of free propaganda, in equal opportunities for all candidates. Summarizing the above, the listed systemic events, conditions, and ensuring the use by citizens of their electoral rights in accordance with the law are the responsibility of election commissions.
Speaking about the responsibility of the election campaign, it will be noted that in article 92 of the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan defines the procedure for liability for violation of the electoral rights of citizens.
Under the responsibility of the election campaign, understood the responsibility for the implementation in accordance with the law of preparatory work for the elections, voting, vote counting and all other events from the day the election campaign is announced, until the official announcement of the election results.
Using of election rights, in accordance with the law, by election commissions, political parties, public organizations, groups of citizens, the mass media, officials, departments, enterprises, organizations and other election participants, as well as the fulfillment of their duties in accordance with the rules and terms defined by law is a very important task and great responsibility in the election campaign.
Intervention to the work of election commissions of state power and self-government bodies, political parties, public organizations, departments, organizations, enterprises, as well as officials and citizens is not allowed.
In Article 17 of the Electoral Code states in detail about the system of election commissions. In accordance with this, the following election commissions are formed for the holding elections of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the Halk Maslahaty and Gengeshes, as well as referendums:
1) Central Election Commission;
2) election commissions of velayats;
3) election commissions of etraps, cities with the rights of etraps (hereinafter election commissions of etraps, cities);
4) district election commissions;
5) election commissions of cities in etraps, settlements and gengeshliks;
6) precinct election commissions.
The election commissions organize their work in accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan and other regulatory legal acts.
Dear President, in a historic speech in 2017 in the Ruhyyet Palace, at the official inauguration ceremony, he noted: “We will help to increase the efficiency of the local elected representative bodies of government - velayat, etrap and city Halk maslahaty. We will increase the role of local governments - the Gengeshes in the socio-political system. And then we will do everything necessary to improve the work of the newly formed parties”.
Guided by the wise orders and instructions of the national Leader, the organized holding elections in accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan, on the basis of democratic principles, is an important task and responsibility facing election commissions. Now, the holding of four different-level elections - deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the velayat, etrap, city Halk maslahaty and Gengeshes simultaneously, that is, on the last Sunday of March, requires great responsibility from the election commissions. It should be noted that election commissions gathered good experience in this.
So, on March 25, 2018, for the first time in history, four different-level elections were held at the same time, and the distinguished President, international and national observers, our political parties and public organizations praised these elections.
At the elections of different levels in our country, their organizers, feeling their responsibility, are providing, in accordance with the requirements of the electoral rights of our citizens, clear evidence that the elections are based on democratic principles. For, freely and voluntarily casting the vote of every citizen is the happy future of our country.
Chief specialist of the Organizational department of Central Commission for holding elections and referendums in Turkmenistan.