11 Jan

Guaranteed by law - it's implemented in practice

Continued with the campaign for the election of the President of Turkmenistan. On the presidency nine candidates nominated: three - from political parties and six - by initiative groups of citizens. All candidates registered by the Central Election Commission and conduct their election campaigning. At the request of the editorial board "NT" of the intermediate steps of the election campaign and the next stage of talks Amangeldi Gandymov, Secretary of the Central Commission for Holding Elections and Referendums in Turkmenistan.

"NT": We have already noted that the next presidential elections are held in the new of a political reality, that is, with the participation of the three political parties. At the same time, it has really emerged and other features - a large number of initiative groups that nominated the candidate. How do you comment?

A.Gandymov: In the era of power and happiness in the country gradually and consistently carried out radical reforms in the sphere of state and public construction, the main purpose of which is to build a democratic state with a socially oriented market economy and the formation of a strong civil society. This was enshrined in the new Constitution of Turkmenistan, adopted in September 2016. In the updated Basic Law reflects modern standards in the field of human rights and freedoms. We were made to the Electoral Code amendments on the basis of the Constitution, which strengthens the role of civil society as an important factor in the realization of the constitutional rights of citizens of Turkmenistan.

The current election campaign the President of Turkmenistan is a vivid demonstration of how grown today civic consciousness of the Turkmen people and increase their participation in social and political life of the country. The initiative group The number of members was 60 to 75, and in general - is 407 people. Each initiative group has gathered more than 10 thousand signatures of voters. For comparison, in the election of the President of Turkmenistan in 2012 and announced their participation nine action teams, but only two of them were able to collect the required number of nominating signatures.

Thus, it is influenced by reformist ideas, actively implemented in the era of power and happiness of every citizen began deeply aware of their involvement and personal responsibility for the fate of the country, its present and future. For its part, the Central Election Commission did everything to initiative groups were able to exercise the rights assigned to them by the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan. Especially for the initiative groups that have declared their wish to nominate a candidate for the President of Turkmenistan, the memo was prepared as a guide during the exercise of their powers. In the memo listed the relevant articles of the Electoral Code, concerning the activities of initiative groups, as well as samples of certified documents required to be submitted to the Central Election Commission.

"NT": At what stage is the election campaign?

A.Gandymov: Now there is an active election campaign. The candidates present their programs on television and in print media. Here I would like to note the following. In accordance with the Electoral Code provided to all candidates free airtime on state television and radio channels. This time is distributed between the candidates on equal terms. For performances on TV "Altyn Asyr", "Yashlyk", "Miras", "Turkmenistan" given to each candidate on 13-15 minutes. Statement by the candidate falls on the most convenient time for the people of Turkmenistan - within of the information program "Watan". It is broadcast on TV in 21, 23 o'clock in the evening and 7, 9, 12 and 15 hours the next day. On "Turkmenistan" channel broadcast a presentation by each candidate is in seven languages three times a day. Simultaneously, biography and software performance of the candidate shall be published in the newspapers. In order to comply with the norms of the Election Code, the Central Election Commission amounted to a schedule of speeches of candidates on television.

Another form of campaigning are meeting with voters. Each candidate will be given the opportunity to speak to voters in the administrative centers of the provinces of Turkmenistan. Meetings will begin on January 11, 2017  and will be held in accordance with the approved schedule of the Central Election Commission until 7th February. For the meetings with voters the public authorities provide the best building. In the Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary provinces meeting with voters will be held in buildings provincial theaters, in the Akhal province in the Palace of Culture building, and in the capital in the palace "Mekan". About the time of the meeting, voters will be informed well in advance the relevant election commissions.

"NT": What at this stage of the election campaign, is important to know the to voters?

A. Gandymov: It is important to know that the Electoral Code guarantees the provision of election information. This includes informing the voters and campaigning, so that each voter can make an informed choice on voting day . To provide information to voters can be used as the media and other public ways. Electoral Code ensures free campaigning for each candidate. Political parties, citizens of Turkmenistan, candidates and their proxies, initiative groups have the right to freely and comprehensively discuss the election programs of the candidates, their political, business and personal qualities. Each candidate or initiative group has a right to determine the form and character of his campaign through the media and to hold meetings with voters in a form convenient for voters. For placing campaign materials in the territory of each polling station will be set aside special places. It will be considered a violation if they give gifts to voters, to carry out a preferential sale of goods, to carry out charitable activities in the course of campaigning for a particular candidate.

"NT": What would you like to wish to the voters?

A. Gandymov: I wish the voters' activity at all stages of the election campaign. We must understand that the state creates conditions for the elections to be held on a democratic basis, in an atmosphere of transparency and openness. And the voters need to show their active citizenship and to participate actively in the electoral campaign.


Interviewed by Irina Imamkulieva.

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