The OSCE: the results of Parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan raise doubts

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published the final report on the Parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan on 30 May 2018.

The report notes that the political environment in Turkmenistan is only nominally pluralist.

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.

Parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan were held on 25 March 2018. 284 candidates ran for 125 seats in the Parliament. The President's son Serdar Berdymukhammedov won 91,42% of the votes and was elected a member of Parliament for the second time

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan