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Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Turkmenistan

Warsaw. Human Dimension Meeting. Plenary session I: Democratic institutions, democratic elections. THF report. Turkmenistan. A country without democratic elections

Warsaw. Human Dimension Meeting. Plenary session I: Democratic institutions, democratic elections. THF report. Turkmenistan. A country without democratic elections

As you know, early presidential elections were held in Turkmenistan at the beginning of 2022. Although the official Ashgabat claims the legality of their conduct, in practice the entire process from beginning to end was accompanied by numerous violations. Let us list the obvious ones that contradict international standards:

The authorities, as always, verbally declared their readiness for dialogue on electoral reform. At the same time, previous recommendations were ignored, for example on respect for fundamental human rights and pluralism.

The last elections were held in a hurry, which greatly limited the possibility of holding them in full accordance with the norms.

There was no centralized list of voters during the elections, and no mechanisms were provided to prevent multiple voting.

The authorities try not to mention that such criteria as length of residence and employment, requirements for language knowledge contradict international standards.

Members of the Central Election Commission are appointed by the president - we believe that under the conditions of this regime this is ineffective. There are shortcomings on the gender issue; there are not enough women in political and public life. They are talking about 25 percent; for the most part, they are represented formally and do not have a casting vote. Stereotypes supported by the authorities persist in relation to women in the country.

The president in Turkmenistan has unlimited powers since the country does not have a system of checks and balances (between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government). The three parties in the country exist formally. The simplest example: not one of the leaders of these parties has ever criticized the government, or has ever come up with effective proposals to improve the electoral system. You can guess why: any criticism is persecuted by the authorities. There are dozens of examples of this, we talk about them regularly, but the authorities ignore any dialogue, and persecute those who try to reach them using various illegal mechanisms.

Also, there are categories of citizens who do not have the right to vote, and this is contrary to international standards and OSCE commitments.

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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