Our country aimed at fundamental reforms strengthening the democratic foundations of the state-based principles of people's rule ensuring the constitutional rights of citizens. Turkmenistan is moving forward confidently by deepening its democratic principles, thanks to the unparalleled efforts of our national leader ensuring the voting rights of every Turkmen citizen in our country. This allows our citizens to have a deeper understanding of legal basis to conduct the elections ensuring voters exercise their right to vote for a worthy candidate and to actively participate in elections.
The development of our democracy is evidenced by the multi-party system which reflects the unity of society and the internal organization of elections in a broad competitive environment following our democratic principles and harmony of all strata.
The electoral experiences and principles of our ancestors are kept up-to-date following modern requirements. When you look at the historical periods of the Turkmen people, you see that the democratic principles on electing the worthy people from the population have been observed.
People who have gained a great deal of prestige and respect among the people through consultation, referendum, and voting to be elected to the positions of responsibility. This shows that the historical democratic principles of the Turkmen nation are also perfect and the will of the people is protected. Elections or referendums at any level of each country is a unique tool for measuring the degree of harmony, unity, and peace that prevails in society.
It is widely known that the elections are a way of formation for a democratic, legal and secular state to be the central institute. That is why elections based on democratic principles is an important expression and a key component for people's power.
Article 119 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan states that "Elections of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis, members of the People's Councils shall be held based on universal and equal voting rights. Citizens of Turkmenistan over the age of eighteen have the right to vote, and each voter has one vote." This means that voting in elections is one of the main political rights in the public life of our citizens and aimed at ensuring freedom.
Actually, what does the vote in elections mean?!
This is the right of the voter to participate in the election and to express and exercise freely his or her will to vote. Voting is an act aimed at electing one of the candidates. Voting means citizen's active participation in social and political understanding. When citizens are invited to vote based on free elections, it means to elect their representatives to implement political decisions, laws, and programs to improve the well-being of the people and the state.
According to the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan, each voter casts his or her vote and not allowed to vote on behalf of others. If a candidate receives more than half of the votes cast in his or her constituency, i.e., 50% + 1, he or she shall be deemed elected. In conclusion, the elections - means to elect the representative of institutions or representatives of government through the provision of voters.
Citizens of Turkmenistan who have attained the age of eighteen have the right to vote. Citizens who have been declared incompetent by the judiciary are not eligible. In other cases, the restriction of citizens' voting rights is under the legislation of Turkmenistan.
To make it clear to all, it would be appropriate to rest attention on the terms which form the basis of understanding on content of the right to vote. For example, an elector is a citizen of an electoral state who has an active voting right. In the case of the voter’s right, it refers to the sum of regulatory legal acts which determine the procedure for the establishment of state electoral institutions and regulate relations in the electoral system, in the subjective sense, the right to vote and to be elected to public bodies, i.e., active and passive voting rights. This means that active voting rights are the right of citizens to elect, and passive voting rights is the right of citizens to be elected. In some cases, citizens enjoy both of these rights. If an eligible citizen is nominated and registered, he or she can exercise both of his or her active and passive rights. When it comes to organizing the electorate, we mean the organizational process that takes place to conduct voting and create favorable conditions for voters to freely express their will.
Types of electoral voting in Turkmenistan:
- voting before the election day;
- voting on election day;
- voting outside the polling station;
Voting before Election Day is for voters who cannot be on election day in his or her place of residence to vote at the polling station. Every voter has the right to come to the polls and vote in advance. Preliminary voting in the elections shall be held ten days before the date of the elections following the procedure established by the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan at the polling station.
Voting on Election day is for the voters who can come to the polling station or cast their ballots outside the house. The voter votes in favor of whoever candidate he or she casts the ballot.
Voting outside the polling station is for the voters who cannot come on their own to the polling station (due to health conditions, disability, etc.) so the voters can vote in their own home, hospital, or elsewhere. This type of voting is conducted only on election day and based on the voter’s application. Applications may be in writing or orally. The precinct election commission is obliged to ensure that voters' constituency has the opportunity to vote outside the house. Our citizens who have the right to vote abroad can also exercise their right to vote in the polling stations settled up near the diplomatic missions (consulates) of Turkmenistan.
The election system of Turkmenistan creates all the necessary conditions for citizens to freely express their will to vote. Because the free and voluntary vote of every voter is the future of our beloved Motherland.
We wish magnanimous life to our esteemed President, who pays great attention to the improvement of the electoral system and leads the brave people of Turkmenistan to unity, tranquility, and a happy future.
Secretary-referent at Central Commission
for Holding Elections and Referendums in Turkmenistan