Early voting period gets under way

On March 15, early voting started in all constituencies in the run-up to the elections of Mejlis deputies (the sixth convocation), Khalk Maslakhaty and Gengesh members in accordance with the Election Code of Turkmenistan.

The procedure is, first of all, intended for those, who are going on long-term business or vacation trips, and those, who, for whatever reason, will be unable to come to a polling station on the polling day to cast their vote.

As to the pre-election campaign, the election commissions’ ongoing active work and their responsible attitude to the performance of their official duties deserve a special mention. Composed of worthy and respectable representatives of labor collectives, the election commissions have made massive efforts to raise public awareness about the elections. This helped to increase voter registration and participation rates manifold.

A spokesperson for the Central Election and Referendum Commission of Turkmenistan informed a TDH correspondent that all the stages of the pre-election campaign had been organized in a timely manner, in accordance with the legislation and generally accepted rules of international law. 2,604 polling stations across the country are all ready for the elections. 39 polling stations have also opened at the diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan abroad.

A group of independent experts from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights have arrived in the Turkmen capital at the Turkmen side’s invitation to assess the preparations and observe the conduct of the elections. During a meeting hosted by the Central Election Commission, they were familiarized with a schedule of election-related activities to be organized by the Central Election Commission, a list of constituencies and polling stations, sample documents, and all the work done locally. The experts received their ID cards.

The mission of CIS observers is continuing to monitor the campaign as well. The international observers have already visited polling stations in different constituencies to become acquainted with their facilities and commissions. Besides, they had meetings with chairpersons of the Ashgabat Election Commission and some election commissions in the regions, as well as with parliamentary candidates and their authorized representatives.

Appointed by the political parties, public organizations and candidates, national observers are also monitoring the pre-election process. They have the authority to pay visits to constituencies prior to the elections and on the polling day. This will create prerequisites for holding highly competitive and transparent elections on a democratic basis.

The elections of Mejlis deputies, Khalk Maslakhaty and Gengesh members are being given widespread media coverage. In particular, the Ashgabat-based and velayat newspapers have published the candidates’ biographies. The candidates are holding meetings with the electorate to introduce their election programs.

The early voting that started today for the elections of Mejlis deputies (the sixth convocation), Khalk Maslakhaty and Gengesh members has demonstrated preparedness for the social-and political campaign at the local and regional level.