The task of democratizing public life is one of the important directions of the respected President's political reforms. This is evidenced by the organized elections held in a multi-party system, on a broad alternative basis in accordance with democratic principles, which fully reflect the cohesion, unity and internal harmony of all layers of the Turkmen community.

In fact, what does the concept of elections mean? Elections are a process aimed at electing one of the candidates by voting. This is a term that refers to the active participation of citizens in the socio-political life of the country. As you know, elections are a way of forming state institutions and local self-government bodies, which are the central institution of a democratic, legal and secular state. As a result, elections are about electing representatives and officials to representative authorities by voting.

When it comes to the direct participation of every citizen in the management of the Affairs of society and the state, it is assumed that draft laws are being discussed, citizens' participation in elections, referendums, elections of elected officials, and the opportunity to work as civil servants.

In our country, these opportunities are provided by universal, equal and direct suffrage in accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, universal suffrage and direct suffrage of citizens by secret ballot in elections and referendums of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, velayat, etrap, town members of the halk maslahaty and Gengeshes. All of the above elections are held on an alternative basis.

Elections are held in single member constituencies. Elections are general. Citizens of Turkmenistan who have reached the age of eighteen have the right to vote and participate in referendums. Elections are direct. The President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the halk maslahaty, Gengeshes are elected directly by citizens.

Any direct or indirect restrictions on the rights of citizens of Turkmenistan to elect, be elected and participate in referendums (hereinafter - referred to as the right to vote), depending on their nationality, race, gender, origin, property and official status, place of residence, language, attitude to religion, political beliefs, party affiliation or lack of affiliation to any party, are prohibited.

Citizens who have been declared legally incompetent by a court or persons serving sentences in places of deprivation of liberty do not participate in elections and referendums. Restriction of the electoral rights of citizens in other cases is not allowed and entails liability established by the legislation of Turkmenistan. Citizens of Turkmenistan have the right to participate in elections and referendums on an equal basis. Each voter or participant in the referendum has one vote.

Elections or referendums at any level in each country are a unique measurement tool that reflects the level of harmony, solidarity and peace that prevails in society.

A referendum - is a national referendum on key issues of public life. Referendums are a form of direct participation of citizens in the exercise of state power by voting.

The phrase "referendum" comes from the Latin word "referendum". This means "to say, to be unconditionally informed".

Referendums in Turkmenistan are held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. Citizens of Turkmenistan with the right to vote participate in referendums.

There are two types of referendums:

- national referendum;

- local referendum.

National and local referendums can be held to resolve important issues of state and public life. The issues raised in the referendum, often the answer is "Yes", "no", "agree", "disagree", "support", "not supported".

A national referendum is held throughout the country. All citizens of the country with the right to vote take part in it.

The following issues may be considered in a national referendum:

- adoption of the law;

- changing or canceling the current law or its individual provisions ;

- making a decision that determines the main content of laws and other regulatory legal acts.

Local referendums are held on the territory of Gengeshes, villages and cities of the corresponding etrap of Turkmenistan. These issues can be considered in a local referendum: on changing or canceling the Gengesh decision; on making decisions on more important issues of local significance, and so on.

The right to make a decision on holding a national referendum belongs to the Mejlis of Turkmenistan. The right to appoint a local referendum belongs to the corresponding Gengesh.

The date of the national referendum is set by the President of Turkmenistan, and the date of the local referendum is set by the relevant Gengesh.

The preparation and conduct of elections and referendums are provided by election and referendum commissions established in accordance with the legislation of Turkmenistan. When preparing and conducting elections and referendums, election commissions are independent of state and local government bodies within their competence. Interference of state and local government bodies, political parties, public associations, institutions, organizations, enterprises, as well as officials and citizens in the activities of election commissions is not allowed.

Under the leadership of the respected President of our country, the participants of the election campaign, feeling their legal responsibility, fully ensure the suffrage of citizens and show that the elections are based on democratic principles. Because free and voluntary voting of every citizen is the happy future of our country.


Jennet Saparova,
chief specialist of the apparatus of the Central commission for holding elections and referendums in Turkmenistan.