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За демократию и права человека в Туркменистане  For Democracy and Human Rights in Turkmenistan
21.06.2018  
English

31.05.2018
ODIHR final report on Turkmenistan’s parliamentary elections

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

ODIHR final report on Turkmenistan’s parliamentary elections recommends ensuring integrity of electoral process, enabling people to exercise fundamental freedoms.

In its final report on the 25 March 2018 parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) said that the elections lacked important features of a genuinely democratic electoral process.

The report, published on 30 May 2018, notes that the political environment is only nominally pluralist and the exercise of fundamental freedoms was severely curtailed. Despite measures to demonstrate transparency, the integrity of the elections was not ensured, leaving the veracity of results in doubt. To this end, ODIHR recommends that the authorities ensure the integrity of the electoral process by preventing proxy voting, multiple voting, ballot box stuffing and inflation of voter turnout figures.

The report underlines that the lack of media pluralism and independence in the country deprives voters of access to the variety of views necessary to make informed choices. To overcome this issue, the report recommends creating an environment that enables the establishment of independent media, encourages the exercise of free speech and ensures access to information.

By law, all candidates have equal rights to participate in campaign meetings and to deliver their message via mass media. In practice, the report says, any campaigning other than that organized by the authorities was effectively prohibited during the campaigning period. The report recommends that candidates be allowed to freely pursue their own methods of campaigning.

The administration of elections generally lacked transparency, in spite of efforts made by the Central Election Commission. The report encourages the election administration to comply with the principles of transparency, professionalism and impartiality. It also calls on the authorities to ensure that election commissions are independent from the government.

With respect to voter registration, the report calls for the accuracy of the voter lists to be improved, possibly through the introduction of a permanent, centralized voter register. It also recommends putting in place safeguards against multiple registration of voters.

The report highlights the lack of follow-up to previous ODIHR election-related assessments and recommends that electoral reform address key issues from previous reports. They concern the formation of election commissions, the compilation of voter lists, the system for complaints and appeals, and campaign and campaign finance regulations. Other recommendations to be considered include the elaboration of detailed procedures on counting and tabulation of results, the facilitation of women’s participation in elections and on campaign financing.

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

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