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2022  N1-2(202-203)
The upper house of the Khalk Maslakhaty (People’s Council) held a meeting chaired by the President of Turkmenistan, Speaker of the People’s Council Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the beginning of the calendar year in Ashgabat. The meeting was attended by members of both houses of the parliament, members of the government, heads of political parties, public associations, heads of administrations of districts, regions of the country and the city of Ashgabat.
At the meeting, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov delivered a keynote speech on the adoption of the country’s socio-economic development program for 2022–2052. Particularly important and even somewhat sensational was the conclusion of his speech. Touching upon the future priorities, the head of state stressed that he places much hope in the youth of the country, because the younger generation embodies hopes for the future. “I support the idea that young leaders that have been raised in a spiritual environment in accordance with the high standards of our time should have a greater role in public administration at the new stage of development of our country. As the chairman of the Khalk Maslakhaty, I intend to devote to this my vast life and political experience,” the President said. The head of state assured his compatriots that he would continue sparing no effort for the sake of the country’s well-being.
This actually meant that Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was ready to vacate the country’s main post to give a new impetus to the development of both state building and the entire socio-political life in Turkmenistan.
His intentions were soon confirmed. Literally the next day, the lower house of the country’s parliament – the Mejlis – adopted a resolution on the early presidential elections in Turkmenistan on March 12 this year. “In accordance with Article 81 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan, Article 86 of the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan, the presidential elections in Turkmenistan will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022,” the document said.
The Central Commission for Elections and Referenda in Turkmenistan decided to kick start the election campaign on February 14, 2022 and hold it in several stages: nomination of candidates, their registration and meetings with voters, etc.
In accordance with Article 46 of the Electoral Code, the Central Election Commission of Turkmenistan soon registered six action groups of citizens for nomination of candidates for the presidential elections in Turkmenistan, which by that time already started collecting signatures.
At the extraordinary IX Congress of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat, the country’s leading political organization nominated Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Serdar Berdimuhamedov as a candidate for the post of President of Turkmenistan.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov graduated as engineer-technologist from the Turkmen Agricultural University named after S.A. Niyazov. Holding also a degree in international relations, he has accumulated rich experience in public administration over the years of his career. He served as Chairman of the Mejlis committee, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy and then Head of the administration of Akhal province, Minister of Industry and Construction Materials Production, Chairman of the Supreme Chamber of Control, member of the State Security Council and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan.
At its extraordinary IV Congress, the Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan nominated Deputy Head of the administration of Mary province Agadzhan Bekmyradov as a candidate for the highest state post.
As a result of meetings of the action groups of citizens in Akhal and Mary provinces, the Head of the sanitary and epidemiological service of Babadaikhan district of Akhal province Maksatmyrat Ovezgeldiev and Director of the research and production center “Renewable Energy Sources” of the State Energy Institute of Turkmenistan Kakageldi Sariyev were nominated as presidential candidates.
The extraordinary III Congress of the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat nominated Babamyrat Meredov, Director of Vepaly Gurlushik (Reliable Construction) private enterprise, as a candidate for the presidential elections.
During the meeting held in Balkan province as part of the election campaign, an action group of citizens nominated the Chief Physician of Avaza sanatorium of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, member of the Mejlis Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan, Berdymammet Gurbanov, as a candidate for the post of President of Turkmenistan.
An action group of citizens from Ashgabat nominated Hydyr Nunnaev, Vice-Rector for Research of the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, as a candidate for the highest state post.
An action group of citizens of Dashoguz province nominated Maksat Odeshov, Chairman of the Democratic Party committee of the district named after Saparmurat Turkmenbashi, as a candidate for the post of President of Turkmenistan.
In Lebap province, an action group of citizens nominated Director of the financial and economic secondary vocational school of Lebap province, Perkhat Begenjov, as a candidate for the post of President of the country.
In the end, 9 candidates were nominated for the post of the head of state in the early elections. It is significant that all of them represented the younger generation that grew up and matured in the years of independence of Turkmenistan.
Meanwhile, a mission of CIS observers headed by the First Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, Executive Secretary Leonid Anfimov started monitoring the presidential elections campaign in Ashgabat. Following its mandate, the mission observed the course of the election campaign and process of voting on the day of elections.
At a meeting with the leadership of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda in Turkmenistan, CIS observers were briefed on the CEC plan of activities and the work done on the ground as a whole. It was emphasized that the election campaign was conducted in accordance with the main principles of international norms in this area. These are universal suffrage, voluntary participation of citizens in competitive elections, creation of equal opportunities for all candidates, freedom of campaigning, protection of the electoral rights of citizens, as well as transparency and openness of the campaign.
As part of the election campaign, the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov held a meeting via video link with representatives of the country’s diplomatic missions abroad. The meeting discussed issues relating to organization of presidential elections at a high level. It was noted that in the course of preparation for the presidential elections 41 polling stations were set up in the embassies and consulates of Turkmenistan in 30 countries.
On the day of the elections, voting at these polling stations went in an organized manner with high turnout of voters. The organizers created all conditions for the citizens of Turkmenistan abroad to fully exercise their constitutional rights. According to observers, from the first minutes of opening of the polling stations, the country’s citizens living, working and studying in various countries of the world demonstrated the high civic responsibility.
The final turnout of voters in Turkmenistan’s early presidential elections was 97.12 percent. This was announced by the Central Election Commission of the country. According to the CEC, the turnout of voters in Akhal province was 97.68 percent, in Balkan province – 97.29 percent, in Dashoguz province – 96.8 percent, in Lebap province – 97.13 percent, in Mary province – 96.97 percent and in Ashgabat – 97.51 percent. Other than that, 90.93 percent of voters cast their ballots at polling stations abroad.
The preliminary results of voting in Turkmenistan’s presidential elections were announced at a briefing in Ashgabat literally a day after the elections. The briefing was attended by Turkmen and foreign reporters, as well as international observers. Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Turkmenistan Gulmyrad Myradov briefed the participants on the preparations and conduct of elections of the President of Turkmenistan.
At the briefings on the results of monitoring the preparation and conduct of Turkmenistan’s presidential elections by international observers representing the CIS, the Organization of Turkic States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the heads of observer missions noted that the presidential elections in Turkmenistan were held in an organized manner, on the competitive basis, in the environment of openness, transparency and high electoral activity.
According to the briefing participants, the invitation of international observers is seen as the country’s leadership desire to ensure maximum transparency and democracy in the electoral process in Turkmenistan. It was noted that assessment by observers are based on the analysis of the national electoral legislation, direct monitoring and factual material collected during the work of missions in the country. The observers emphasized that the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan complies with the universally recognized norms of international law in the field of democratic elections and ensures free and open expression of the will of voters.
The final results of Turkmenistan’s most important socio-political event – the competitive presidential elections – were discussed already on March 15, at an expanded meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers and the State Security Council of Turkmenistan. The Chairman of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda announced the results of the popular vote. In general, out of 3,460,080 voters in Turkmenistan, a total of 3,362,052 votes or 97.17 percent of the total voters cast their votes.
As a result, Perkhat Begenjov won 2.02 percent of the votes, Agadzhan Bekmyradov – 7.22 percent, Serdar Berdimuhamedov – 72.97 percent, Berdymammet Gurbanov – 2.22 percent, Babamyrat Meredov – 1.08 percent, Hydyr Nunnaev – 11.09 percent percent, Maksat Odeshov – 1.15 percent, Maksatmyrat Ovezgeldiev – 1.16 percent, Kakageldi Sariyev – 1.09 percent.
According to the resolution adopted at the final meeting of the Central Election Commission on March 14 and Article 76 of the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan, candidate Serdar Gurbangulyevich Berdimuhamedov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, who received an absolute majority of votes (72.97 percent), was declared the elected President of Turkmenistan.

Ahmetdzan NURIEV

©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005