Under the wise leadership of our esteemed President in our Independent, permanently Neutral state of Turkmenistan effective works are being carried out to improve the national legal norms that guarantee one of the most important political rights of citizens - the right to choose and to be chosen, and on the basis of this, effective work is being carried out to further democratize the society. 

Ensuring the citizens' guarantees of electoral rights in preparing for and holding elections is a clear proof of Turkmenistan's adherence to internationally accepted democratic principles. 

In accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, elections of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis of Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan (hereinafter - Mejlis), halk maslahaty of velayat, a city with velayat jurisdiction (hereinafter - velayat), etrap, a city with etrap jurisdiction (hereinafter - etrap, city), Gengesh members’ elections are held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. 

Direct elections are where eligible citizens vote directly for or against registered candidates or the issue(s) being contested on referendum. The President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis, members of velayat, etrap, city halk maslahaty, members of Gengesh are directly elected by the citizens. Participation of citizens of Turkmenistan in elections are free and voluntary. 

Indirect elections. This type of election is voting through special people - electors or special representatives, without voting directly by eligible citizens. In our country those special people are members of halk maslahaty of velayats and Ashgabat city elected by direct voting. 

Elections of members of Halk Maslahaty of Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan (hereinafter – the Halk Maslahaty) are held at the sessions of velayat halk maslahaty on the basis of indirect (indirect) suffrage by secret ballot. 

Elections are held on a competitive basis. 

Elections of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of the Mejlis, members of velayat, etrap, city halk maslahaty, members of Gengesh are held in single-mandate constituencies. 

In the elections of members of Halk Maslahaty, the territory of each velayat and the city of Ashgabat is an eight-mandate district. 

There are two types of constituencies. They are single-mandate and multi-mandate constituencies. 

Mandate - represents the number of representatives to be elected in the relevant area (constituency area), that is, it is a concept that gives the right to be elected. 

One deputy or one member is elected in single-mandate constituencies. In multi-mandate constituencies, if several deputies or several members are elected from one constituency, then it is called multi-mandate constituencies. 

Referendum (voting of the people) is a form of direct participation of citizens of Turkmenistan in the exercise of state authority through voting. 

National and local referendums can be held to resolve important issues of state and community life. 

The election and referendum season (hereinafter - the election season) is the free and equal presentation of candidates for the Presidency of Turkmenistan, members of Halk Maslahaty and deputies of Mejlis, velayat, etrap, city halk maslahaty, members of the Gengesh and the issues put to referendums are conduct on an equal basis for all applicants, in transparency and openness, and freedom of speech. 

The election season is the period established by the relevant election committee for the preparation and organization of the elections in the manner prescribed by law. 

A candidate is a citizen with the right to vote who contests and votes for election to any elected position (President, deputy, member). 

Nomination is the nomination of political parties and citizen groups for elected positions in accordance with the procedure established by law. 

The right to nominate the candidates in the direct elections held in our country according to the electoral law, belongs to political parties registered before the appointed day of the elections, as well as groups of citizens. In indirect elections, candidates are presented by the relevant velayat, etrap, city halk maslahaty at their meetings. 

The procedure for nomination of the candidates is regulated in accordance with the Election code of Turkmenistan. 

A person who has not been dismissed voluntarily or has not been dismissed in accordance with the law by the time of his appointment cannot be nominated as a candidate. 

Nomination of candidates in the elections of the President of Turkmenistan, deputies of Mejlis, velayat, etrap, city halk maslahaty, members of the Gengesh begins sixty days before the elections, and ends thirty days before the elections. 

In the elections of members of Halk Maslahty the nomination of candidates begins fifty days before the elections, and ends twenty-five days before the elections. 

Registration of a candidate is understood as the registration by the relevant electoral committee of a citizen with the right to vote in compliance with the requirements of the election law, and the granting of the candidate's powers. 

Candidates’ rights are the right – according to the law, it is the candidate's right to freely conduct campaign activities during the election season. Candidates’ rights are determined by law. From the moment of registration the candidates have equal rights to speak in meetings, gatherings, mass media before the elections. 

The candidates’ trusted people are eligible citizens nominated by registered candidates. The rules for appointing candidates' trusted people are set out in each country's election legislation. It is up to each candidate to appoint their trusted people, which is the right of the candidates. The candidates’ trusted assist the candidate during the election season, they are doing the preaching work to get him elected. 

The active participation of young people with the right to vote, as well as women in the elections held in the country reveals that democratic developments and legal perfection are being achieved in our political life. 

Elections, which are proof of the perfection of turkmen society, the realization of political rights and freedoms of citizens, also clearly show that people's democracy is widespread in the country. 

May the live of our esteemed President who is helping to improve the international level of our democratic, legal and secular state, helping to improve the electoral system in the country, and leading his people to a happy future will be long and healthy! 


Annadursun MESKUTOVA, 
chief specialist of Digital technologies and information security management of apparatusof the Commission for holding Elections and referendums in Turkmenistan.