Elections are a kind of mirror of society. Elections and referendums held in the country at any level are an amazing measuring instrument showing the degree of dominance in different layers of society of unique harmony, cohesion, unanimity and calmness.

In Independent and permanently Neutral Turkmenistan, under the leadership of the distinguished President, great attention is paid to further democratization of society, improvement of the work of the electoral system, and guaranteeing the electoral rights of citizens. Elections, which have become an important social and political event, are held in accordance with the principles of national democracy, as well as with modern international requirements and in a multiparty system.

The use of our State's legislation on elections and referendums, which is based on the Basic Law of Turkmenistan, the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan and consists of other legal acts of our State, as well as international signed agreements, shows that the various elections held in our country are organized at the level of the relevant requirements of the developed world.

In accordance with the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan, citizens' rights to elect and be elected and to participate in referendums are not restricted and universal in scope. This principle is enshrined in the legislative acts regulating the relevant areas of social relations.

An important feature of our country's laws on electoral rights and freedoms is their compliance with international requirements and standards in this area. And these are excellent conditions and opportunities created for open and free realization of the will of representatives of all segments of the people. The electoral system is understood to mean the totality of the procedure for ensuring the right to vote, the powers of all legal requirements that agree on the conduction of elections and referendums and the results of voting.

In accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, elections to the Presidency of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the velayat, etrap, city Halk maslahaty, Gengeshes and referendums are held by secret ballot, on the basis of equal and direct suffrage and on an alternative basis. These elections are held in single-mandate constituencies.

Referendum (popular vote) is a type of direct participation of citizens of Turkmenistan in the realization of state power by voting. National and local referendums may be held to resolve important issues relating to state and public life. The democratic principles of the election and referendum campaign include the free and equal nomination of Presidential candidates, deputies to the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the Halk maslahaty, Gengeshes and the submission of referendum issues, transparency and openness, freedom of campaigning and equal opportunities for all candidates.

Turkmenistan's legislation on elections and referendums is based on the Constitution and consists of the Electoral Code and other legal and regulatory acts. If international agreements to which Turkmenistan is a party, establish rules different from those stipulated in the Electoral Code, the rules of the international agreements are applied.

Elections and referendums are universal. Turkmen citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to elect and participate in the referendum. Any direct or indirect restrictions on the rights of Turkmen citizens to elect, be elected and participate in referendums based on nationality, race, sex, origin, wealth and official status, place of residence, language, attitude to religion, political convictions, party affiliation or lack thereof are prohibited.

Citizens who have been declared legally incompetent by a court and persons serving their sentences in detention facilities do not participate in elections and referendums. Restricting citizens' electoral rights in other cases is prohibited and punishable by law.

Citizens of Turkmenistan have the right to participate on elections and referendums on an equal basis. Each voter or referendum participant has one vote. Elections are direct. The President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the Halk maslahaty and Gengeshes are directly elected by citizens.

Citizens of Turkmenistan voting for or against the issue(s) put to a referendum. Participation of citizens of Turkmenistan on elections and referendums is free and voluntary. Voting on elections and referendums is secret. Control over the expression of the will of the voters is not permitted.

All of the above demonstrates that the right to vote, which is internationally accepted and which has become democratic principles for holding elections - universal suffrage, equal suffrage, direct suffrage, secrecy of elections, freedom of elections, as well as their holding on an alternative basis. Within the events holding in our country to ensure democratic principles of elections and the electoral rights of citizens, it should be noted that, in accordance with article 90 of the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan, decisions of electoral commissions and the actions or omissions of their officials are subject to appeal; in accordance with article 91, decisions and actions or omissions of state and local government bodies and their officials, participants of referendums, are subject to appeal in court; and in accordance with 92, the procedure for liability for violation of citizens' electoral rights is regulated.

Open and transparent preparation and holding elections, that are being created in our country by electoral commissions, observation of elections by political parties, public associations, groups of citizens, thousands of national observers appointed from candidates, as well as international observers, consistent dissemination of information on elections to the population through the mass media - clear evidence of the formation of a perfect electoral system in our country, as well as the conduction of elections on the basis of democratic principles.


Maksatmyrat Geldiyev,
chief specialist of the Organizational department of Central Commission
for holding elections and referendums in Turkmenistan.