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Turkmenistan prepares for presidential elections given UN and OSCE standards

Tuesday 9 August 2011

ASHGABAT (Trend) – The next presidential elections in Turkmenistan scheduled for February 12, 2012 will be based on the Constitution and in accordance with the UN and OSCE international electoral standards, the committee of the national parliament said.

The political parties, public associations and groups of citizens have the right to nominate presidential candidates in accordance with the Turkmen constitution.

The OSCE documents stipulate that the presence of observers, both foreign and local, can enhance the electoral process.

The local press reported that Turkmen and foreign media representatives may participate in the electoral process to objectively evaluate the process. Election commissions, state bodies, political parties, public organizations must provide them with relevant information. The representatives of foreign media must be accredited to the Central Election Commission to cover the preparation for the elections.

CHAPTER 3 of the Turkmen Constitution: The President of Turkmenistan

Article 54: The President of Turkmenistan is the head of state and of the executive power, is the highest official of Turkmenistan, and acts as a guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity, and adherence to the Constitution and international agreements.

Article 55: The President must be a citizen of Turkmenistan, a Turkmen not younger than forty years of age, and resident in Turkmenistan. One person may not be President more than two terms consecutively.

Article 56: The President is elected directly by the people of Turkmenistan for a term of five years and assumes office immediately after taking oath at a session of the People’s Council. The presidential election and the assumption of office occur in the manner established by law.

Article 57: The President of Turkmenistan:

  1. enacts the Constitution and laws and ensures their exact execution;
  2. manages the implementation of foreign policy, representing Turkmenistan in relations with foreign governments, appoints and recalls ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of Turkmenistan in other countries and in intergovernmental and international organizations, and accepts the credentials and departures of the diplomatic representatives of foreign governments;
  3. is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, issues orders of general or partial mobilization or use of the Armed Forces subject to subsequent approval of these actions by the People’s Council, and appoints the highest commanders of the Armed Forces.
  4. presents the People’s Council with a yearly report about the state of the country and provides information about the most important questions of domestic and foreign policy;
  5. presents for review and approval to the Parliament the governmental budget and a report on its utilization;
  6. signs laws and has the right, within two weeks, to return laws to Parliament with her or his objections for additional discussion and vote. If two thirds of Parliament votes to affirm its earlier decision, the President signs the law. The President does not have the right to delay by veto laws on amendment and addition to the Constitution;
  7. schedules referenda approved by the People’s Council and has the right to convene Parliament ahead of schedule;
  8. decides questions about the granting of Turkmenistan citizenship and asylum;
  9. awards orders and other awards of Turkmenistan, confers honorary, military, and other special state titles, ranks, and distinctions;
  10. with Parliament’s preparatory consent, appoints and recalls the Chair of the Supreme Court, the Chair of the High Commercial Court, and the General Procurator;
  11. grants pardons and amnesties;
  12. decides other issues ascribed to her or his jurisdiction by the Constitution and laws.

Article 58: The President issues decrees, resolutions, and orders which have mandatory force throughout Turkmenistan.

Article 59: The President may not be a deputy of Parliament or receive other financial compensation, with the exception of honoraria for the creation of works of science, literature, or art.

Article 60: The President has the right of immunity. The President may be prematurely relieved of office if incapable of meeting her or his obligations because of sickness. The People’s Council, on the basis of the conclusion of an independent medical commission formed under its auspices, decides to prematurely relieve the President of office when not less than two-thirds of the established members of the People’s Council so vote. If President violates the Constitution or laws, the People’s Council may express its lack of confidence in the President and put forward to a popular vote the question of her or his removal. A question of lack of confidence is put forward for consideration when not less than one-third of the established members of the People’s Council so desire. A decision of lack of confidence in the President is made when not less than two-thirds of the established members of the People’s Council so vote.

Article 61: The President may not transfer her or his executive powers to other organs or officials, except for the powers enumerated in parts 2, 9, and 11 of Article 57 of the Constitution, which may be transferred to the Chair of Parliament. If the President, for some reason, is not capable of meeting her or his obligations, until the election of a new President, her or his powers are transferred to the Chair of Parliament. In such a situation, a presidential election should be conducted no later than two months from the day of transfer of powers to the Chair of Parliament. A person meeting the obligations of the President may not be a candidate in the presidential election.

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