IN THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY, IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE
The Speaker of the Mejlis (parliament) and Vice Premiers, heads of military and law enforcement agencies, ministries and departments, heads of regional administrations and the city of Ashgabat, members of the national parliament, representatives of political parties and public associations, the Council of Elders, executive authorities and local self-government bodies gathered at Ruhiyet (spirituality) Palace for the inauguration ceremony.
The ceremony was also attended by members of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda, presidential candidates, representatives of international organizations, who arrived in Turkmenistan as observers to monitor the conduct of elections. The ceremony participants also included members of the official foreign delegations, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan and ambassadors of Turkmenistan abroad, representatives of national and foreign mass media, general public and other guests.
The State Flag of Turkmenistan, the Standard of the President of Turkmenistan, the Constitution of Turkmenistan and the Holy Quran were carried into the hall by the guard of honor to the sounds of marching music. President-elect Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was greeted with a storm of applause.
The floor was given to the Chairman of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda in Turkmenistan, who announced the results of the presidential elections. The head of the CEC noted that the election campaign was held in compliance with the legislation and the universally recognized principles of law based on universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot and free expression of popular will, competitiveness, openness and transparency. This fact was also confirmed by the international observers representing reputable organizations and bodies, as well as the independent observers, who praised the electoral activity.
On the whole, 3,163,692 voters cast their ballots, which is 97.28 percent of the total number of voters. According to the final count, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received 97.69 percent of votes. Under the resolution adopted by the CEC at its final meeting on 14 February 2017 and in accordance with article 76 of the Electoral Code, Presidential Candidate Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who received the absolute majority of votes, was declared President of Turkmenistan.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took an oath of allegiance to the Motherland and the people of Turkmenistan at the inauguration ceremony. With his right hand placed on the Constitution of Turkmenistan, the head of state uttered the words of the presidential oath of office.
Then, the newly elected head of state was presented with the certificate of the President of Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov paid tribute to the State Flag of Turkmenistan. Then, the national anthem of Turkmenistan was played. It was taken up by all the participants of the ceremony. The announcement was made that the President-elect took office.
At the official inauguration ceremony, held at Ruhyet Palace in Ashgabat, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov delivered an inaugural speech in which he identified the tasks for the new stage of the country's development.
Welcoming the elders, members of the Cabinet of Ministers and the State Security Council of Turkmenistan, members of the national parliament, youth, representatives of the mass media, public associations and the diplomatic corps, who took part in the celebrations, the head of state said:
"This is a solemn, unforgettable and, at the same time, very important moment for all of us. From now on, a new period of presidential rule begins in the history of independent, permanently neutral Turkmenistan.
By electing me to the high post of President of Turkmenistan for a new term, our people have placed great trust in me. Taking this opportunity, I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my compatriots who took part in the current elections as presidential candidates.
All of them made big efforts to win the elections. During the election campaign, they demonstrated high standards of culture and professionalism, having proved themselves worthy of being leaders. I am confident that the experience they gained during the election campaign will be useful in their future work.
Independent Turkmenistan has entered a new stage of development. We call this period the time of progressive development and further implementation of large-scale reforms.
Fulfilling the enormous creative potential of our people, using efficiently the natural resources, relying on the solidarity, peace and unity, and guided by the remarkable achievements, we have set new tasks that are more crucial.
In my televised keynote address on December 25 last year, I, as a presidential candidate, presented my vision of the important tasks that we are facing on the path of further development of our independent neutral country. I clearly identified the priority areas of large-scale work based on innovative development and the latest scientific achievements. We have to do this work. Further strengthening the solid foundation of the strong Turkmen state, enhancing its international reputation and increasing considerably its economic potential are our main tasks.
Guided by the status of permanent neutrality, our independent state has been developing its international relations for more than twenty one years now. We maintain friendly, fraternal and good-neighborly relations with the states and peoples of the world. We stand for the peaceful solutions to all issues. These principles fully comply with our national interests and the foreign policy course of our sovereign state.
That is why the fundamental principles of our neutrality, such as strengthening the universal peace and security, broadening the relations of good-neighborliness, friendship and fraternity and ensuring stable development will remain the priority areas of the foreign policy of independent Turkmenistan in the future. We will continue consistently developing our trade-economic, cultural and humanitarian relations, cooperation in the field of education and science with all states and nations.
As you know, we have set a noble goal, which is to turn our country into an advanced, industrially developed state. We will ensure deep processing of hydrocarbon resources with the use of state-of-the-art technologies and produce high-quality products, such as gasoline, polypropylene, polyethylene and liquefied gas, which are in high demand in the world market, to put our country's natural resources to work for the benefit of the nation.
As regards the fuel and energy sector, Turkmenistan will continue working closely with neighboring countries and other countries with which we have established strong economic ties. In this area, the implementation of the Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India gas pipeline project is very important. Other than providing impressive revenues to our country, it will bring heat and electricity to the homes of neighboring peoples.
Turkmenistan is rich not only in hydrocarbons. Its underground deposits keep almost all metals of the Mendeleev periodic system. The advantageous geopolitical location, extensive road and railway networks greatly facilitate their exploration, extraction and processing. With this in mind, we will continue working for the successful implementation of the enormous economic and natural potential for the benefit of the present and future generations.
On this basis, we will widely use the economic mechanisms to increase exports of competitive, high-quality goods to foreign markets. We will boost import-substituting production. We will continue working towards establishing an electronic industry in accordance with the adopted programs.
We will continue developing the power industry and commissioning new power plants. The volumes of electricity that we produce fully satisfy our domestic needs and guarantee their uninterrupted exports via existing routes. Our electricity will also have a positive impact on the standard of living of the peoples of neighboring countries that need electricity. This will ensure the consistent development of the genuine humanistic principles of our people.
With the view of using efficiently the non-conventional types of energy, such as solar and wind energy, we will provide great support to the further development of these areas.
One of my main tasks is to provide support and promote further development of entrepreneurship and market relations in various sectors of our economy.
It is now impossible to keep abreast with the current rapid development and time without paying due attention to the development of education and science, as well as training of highly qualified specialists who can handle skillfully the complex technologies.
Following the principle "Educated Generation is the Power of the Motherland," we will continue taking all measures for the full-scale development of science and education.
We will continue building modern kindergartens, secondary schools and higher educational establishments. We will train highly qualified specialists for educational institutions and provide them with modern equipment. We will focus on the opening of new higher education establishments and in-depth learning of foreign languages by the younger generation.
We stay committed to the principle "Culture is the Soul of People" and focused on the development of culture and art. We will continue working in this area. Guided by the rich national spiritual and cultural heritage, we will ensure that our people will be recognized in the world as the nation of builders, the nation of creators.
Abiding by the principle "Health of People is the Wealth of the Nation" and the state program "Health", we will provide our people with medical care in accordance with modern standards. We will support finding successful solutions to the key issues of maternal and child health. We will always attach great importance to the development of physical culture and sports in the country, increasing physical activity of our citizens and promoting their health.
We will continue the large-scale work for construction of Health Houses, Health Protection Centers, hospitals and wellness centers, which will fully meet the growing modern requirements, for multiplication of our resorts, for transformation of the National Tourist Zone "Avaza" on the ecologically friendly coast of the Caspian Sea into one of the world's most famous recreation and health centers.
As you know, family is the foundation of the society. We will continue allocating funds to provide material support to families and address social issues. One of our major tasks is to ensure good social and living conditions for the families living in the urban and rural areas. We will create conditions in the villages that will be equal those in the urban areas.
That is why one of our major tasks is to successfully implement the National Program for Rural Development.
Driven by these tasks, we will continue working relentlessly in the regions of the country to provide each family with modern housing. We will build small centers for household service in every settlement. Such centers will accommodate relevant services, folk crafts shops and vehicle maintenance services. We will create all the necessary conditions for living, working and leisure of people along the collectors leading to the Turkmen Lake "Altyn Asyr."
Another important task that still persists is to ensure a sustained income growth of the population. In this regard, we will bring the per capita income to the level of developed countries. We will keep focused on issues related to increasing wages, pensions, scholarships and state allowances, as well as providing other social benefits to citizens.
I want to assure all of you that we will not allow a decline in the standard of living of any family and that our people will always remain under state protection.
At the same time, one of our priority tasks is to pay special attention to agriculture, reclamation of sown areas, increasing productivity of agricultural crops and facilitation of the work of farmers. We will keep under control issues related to the efficient management of our water resources.
One of the key tasks is to provide the people of the country with the foodstuffs at affordable prices. With this in mind, we will ensure the abundance of commodities and foodstuffs at the markets and stores and expand services.
We will pay much attention to the development of the communications. We will continue working on exploration of outer space, launching new satellites that will improve the telecommunication and TV and radio systems and benefit the national economy, restoring the Great Silk Road that connected the continents. Our country should make a worthy contribution to this work which is of great importance for all mankind. As a result, we will promote the expansion of international economic and trade relations.
Medieval Turkmen scientists made amazing discoveries in their studies of the universe and made a great contribution to the development of the world science. That is why we will also establish an international-standard center with an observatory for space exploration.
We will consistently improve the work of the political system of our society. To this end, the regular meeting of the Council of Elders, to be held in Akhal province this year, will discuss legislative amendments to the Regulations of the Council in terms of strengthening its role, and we will submit them to the Mejlis for review.
We will strengthen the bodies of local executive powers. Further democratization of public life will be one of our main tasks. We will help improve the efficiency of work of local elected representative bodies, such as regional, district and city Khalk Maslahaty. We will strengthen the role of local self-governing bodies, Gengeshi, in the socio-political system.
We will continue making all efforts to improve the work of the newly established political parties.
Further strengthening of social and legal protection of our people is one of our main tasks. Implementing the policy "the State at the Service of People!", we will use various mechanisms of legal support of the population. The work to protect the rights of our citizens, guaranteed by the Constitution, will be continued. In this regard, the institution of the Ombudsman, which is designed to monitor the observance of the rights and interests of citizens in the activities of executive bodies and officials, will soon begin to work.
As you know, the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be held in Ashgabat in the autumn of this year. We will make every effort to ensure the high organizational level of the Games.
We should pay special attention to ensuring welfare in the country and peaceful life of our people. That is why in the future we will fight decisively against international terrorism, extremism, cross-border organized crime, illicit drug trafficking. In this area, we will continue to closely cooperate with international organizations.
The National Army, the Air Force and the Navy, border troops are the reliable guarantee of security of the peaceful life of our people.
Guided by the Military Doctrine, which is exclusively defensive in nature, we will consistently increase the military power of our Armed Forces.
We will further improve the work of law enforcement agencies.
I am confident that together with all of you, my dear compatriots, we will successfully fulfill these tasks and turn our Fatherland into one of the prosperous states of the world!
I once again express my sincere gratitude to all voters who took active part in the presidential elections in Turkmenistan in unity and accord and cast their votes for me.
I appreciate the great trust you placed in me. I assure you that I will put all my strength, knowledge, experience and skills into justifying this trust with my deeds that I will carry out in the name of the peaceful, prosperous and happy life of the Fatherland and our people."
Ashgabat, 17 February 2017