It can already be stated that September 2020 will go down in Turkmenistan's history as the most important milestone in the development of national democracy. The people changed the Constitution of the country, having opted for a bicameral parliament. This is how it was.
The Khalk Maslakhaty (People's Council) of Turkmenistan convened for a historic meeting in Ashgabat on the eve of the celebration of the 29th anniversary of the country's independence. The meeting was chaired by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov via a video link. The agenda of the national forum included priority issues relating to public life, the chief of which was the Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan."
The Khalk Maslakhaty meeting was attended by members of the Government, the speaker and members of the Mejlis, heads of ministries and sectoral departments, political parties and public associations, governors (khyakims) of regional, city and district administrations, members of the Khalk Maslakhaty, staff of various enterprises and institutions, honorary elders. Delegates from Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary provinces gathered in the administrative centers of their regions, while delegates representing the city of Ashgabat gathered in Mekan palace of the capital city.
President of Turkmenistan, Chairman of the Khalk Maslakhaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov opened the meeting. He recalled that the last year meeting of the Khalk Maslakhaty marked the launch of the new stage of constitutional reforms in the country following the initiative to improve the Constitution. The main goal of these transformations is to improve the activities of the highest representative bodies - the Khalk Maslakhaty and the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, establish a bicameral structure of the legislative body and bring the activities of the democratic institutions to a new level.
Having approved the agenda of the Khalk Maslakhaty meeting, which was provided to the forum delegates well in advance, the Turkmen leader began his speech by summing up the results of the country's independent development.
Speaking at the meeting of the Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that the parliament represents a special branch of pubic authority, an integral instrument for establishing people's democracy in the political, economic and social life of the country. Creating a qualitatively new bicameral structure of the National Parliament will create favorable conditions to strengthen the legal framework for the further development of our independent country and enhance the efficiency of work of public authorities.
As was noted, the Constitutional Commission for preparation of the draft Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan" did a lot of work. Over the past period, four meetings of the Commission were held and the draft Constitutional Law was published in the media.
A lot of suggestions and comments on the draft law were received. All of them were scrutinized at the regular meetings of the working group, including meetings in the regions of the country. The final draft of the Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan" was submitted to the Khalk Maslakhaty for consideration.
"According to the draft Constitutional Law that you received for consideration, the Khalk Maslakhaty is incorporated into the system of the highest bodies of public authority that carry out the legislative activities, the head of state said. Therefore, with the view of establishing a bicameral structure of the legislative representative body of public authority, it is proposed to rename the National Parliament as the National Council of Turkmenistan with two chambers - the Khalk Maslakhaty and the Mejlis."
The draft law also outlines the procedure of establishing the chambers of the Parliament, holding meetings, adopting laws, the requirements for candidates for members of the Khalk Maslakhaty and the Mejlis, as well as the norms defining their credentials. These norms are essential for the coordinated work of the two chambers.
"We believe that the adoption of the Constitutional Law will be another important step towards democratization of our country. I strongly believe that the National Council of Turkmenistan will become a national representative body that unites our people and guides them to high goals!" the head of state stressed.
The President of Turkmenistan presented for discussion the draft resolutions of the Khalk Maslakhaty "On approval of the draft Constitutional Law on Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan" as well as "On approval of the main directions of the socio-economic development of Turkmenistan in 2021". The resolutions of the Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan were adopted unanimously, after which the head of state signed these documents.
During the break in the meeting of the Khalk Maslakhaty, the Mejlis of the sixth convocation held its eleventh meeting. Members of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan discussed the draft Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan". They focused on the topic of establishment of the National Council of Turkmenistan and the forthcoming transition of the country's legislative body to the bicameral system. In this regard, issues related to the introduction of relevant changes and amendments to the current laws of Turkmenistan were also discussed. The draft Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan" submitted earlier for review by the Mejlis of the fifth convocation was unanimously approved and adopted.
The decision of members of parliament on the draft Constitutional Law was announced at the continuing session of the Khalk Maslakhaty by the Speaker of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, Gulshat Mammedova. Then, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan."
The Turkmen leader congratulated everyone on the adoption of the Constitutional Law "On Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of Turkmenistan" that aims to improve the activities of the Khalk Maslakhaty and the Mejlis and establish the bicameral structure of bodies carrying out legislative activities.
"Our neutral state prioritized the right and dignity, human well-being and prosperity of society, peace and harmony, and the constitutional reform will contribute to ensuring greater rights and freedoms to all citizens that will be guaranteed by the Constitution of Turkmenistan," the head of state emphasized.
The President of Turkmenistan instructed members of the Government, national parliament, representatives of public associations and local authorities to conduct relevant work to address the tasks arising from the new Constitutional Law.
In this regard, the activities of the Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan were terminated. According to the Constitutional Law, the first elections of members of the Khalk Maslakhaty Chamber of the National Council of Turkmenistan are called by the President of Turkmenistan. So, the head of state signed a decree of the Khalk Maslakhaty calling the first election of members of the Khalk Maslakhaty of the National Council of Turkmenistan and setting up the work of this structure.