On January 29 of this year, our esteemed President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held a regular meeting of the Constitutional Commission to develop and summarize proposals for amendments and additions to the Constitution of Turkmenistan.
There is being done concrete work in studying and summarizing proposals for amending and supplementing the Constitution of our country. We asked Amangeldi Annadurdyev, Secretary of the Central Commission for holding elections and referendums in Turkmenistan, to tell about this. He told us the following:
– At present, there is underway a large-scale work to introduce amendments and additions to the Constitution of Turkmenistan. This means the triumph of democratic principles in the governance of our state. What specific rules are provided to introduce to our Basic Law? According to the Turkmen leader speech, initiatives on introducing the Halk Maslahaty and the Mejlis of Turkmenistan into a single bicameral system, which is considered to be a representative legislative body, received wide support. That is why it is planned to remove article 61 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan. Therefore, based on the experience of states with bicameral parliaments, it is considered advisable to call the National Parliament of Turkmenistan the National Council of Turkmenistan, its legislative chamber - the Mejlis, and its house of representatives - the Halk Maslahaty.
As our Arkadag rightly notes, the total number of members of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan will be 56 people. It is also envisaged that from each velayat and the city of Ashgabat, eight people will be equally elected to the Halk Maslahaty, at the corresponding meetings of the Halk Maslahaty of velayats and the city of Ashgabat, by secret ballot. At the same time, the President of Turkmenistan will appoint 8 people from among the most respected citizens with rich life experience and individual labor achievements in various areas of state and public activities. This will play an important role in expanding the powers of the Halk Maslahaty of the velayats and the city of Ashgabat, increasing their authority as effective local representative bodies having the right to form the composition of the Halk Maslahaty. The appointment by the President of Turkmenistan of a certain part of the members of the Halk Maslahaty will enrich the democratic standards of our people, such as justice, equality and humanity, with a new meaning in accordance with the modern requirements of the development of society and the state.
By the way, the National Leader very justly remarked: “In order to select and appoint people with rich life and professional experience, based on the accumulated positive traditions of our fathers in managing Turkmen society, it would be advisable if the draft Constitution indicated that the composition of the Halk Maslahaty could to be elected and appointed for a term of 5 years, a citizen of Turkmenistan who has reached the age of 30 years, has higher education and has been permanently residing in Turkmenistan for the previous ten years”.
Speaking about the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, on the basis of the accumulated positive experience in the specific organization of its legislative work in the country, it is planned to leave the constitutional norms on the number and term of office of deputies unchanged. The term of office of the representative bodies operating now in our country under the legislation of Turkmenistan is 5 years. This is in line with the recognized positive experience of the election of deputies and the electoral law. However, it will be provided to the Basic Law the provision that the same person is not allowed to elect and work in both chambers of the National Parliament at the same time. The introduction of such a rule is of great importance for ensuring democratic initiatives and social justice in our country. In addition, as our distinguished President emphasized, it would be advisable to introduce into the Constitution of Turkmenistan a rule on the separate holding of chamber meetings.
An exception to this rule is the annual speech of the President of Turkmenistan to the Turkmen people and the Parliament on the situation in the country, the main directions of the state’s domestic and foreign policy, as well as the speech of the heads of foreign states in the Parliament. In such cases, joint meetings are foreseen.
According to the experience of many countries of the world, if the President of the country for some reason cannot fulfill his duties, as a rule, his powers are transferred to the speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament. That is why our National Leader very justly noted: “I think that, guided by such positive international experience, it would be correct to state in our Basic Law that if the President of the country for any reason is not able to fulfill his duties, then the election of the President, his powers are transferred to the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty”.
The valuable proposals put forward by our Arkadag in his speech are a symbol of the further triumph of democratic principles in our country.
The reform of the country's legislative branch will allow the National Parliament to represent all sectors of the Turkmen society, solve urgent issues of the time and significantly improve the state of development and application of laws. The new legislative body will play an important role in the further democratization of the state and public life, as well as the full recognition of the norms of social justice in our country.
– Thank you very much for this interview!
The interview was recorded by A.Akmyradov.