Turkmens prefer bazaars to elections

The election of members of the Mejlis (Parliament) was held today across Turkmenistan. According to our sources, the actual turnout was extremely low.

In one of the polling stations in Lebap velayat with 1680 registered voters, only 47 people cast their ballots by 4 p.m. These are primarily teachers of the school where the polling station was based.

A similar situation was observed in Dashoguz velayat. In one of the etrap centers, out of a total of just over 2000 registered voters, only 84 people voted. All of them are public sector employees and all of them brought passports of other family members as well, and some even of those of their neighbours.

We have the number of these polling stations but for obvious reasons we cannot publish them.

According to our observers, the majority of the country's residents preferred a visit to a bazaar at the weekend rather than to a polling station. Many have not even heard about the elections.

It should be mentioned that no mobile voting with mobile ballot boxes was arranged for those who were unable to come to the polling station to cast their ballots.

A high turnout was ensured in Ashgabat polling stations where television footage was made or CIS observers were present. Students and public sector employees, the majority of who were registered in other polling stations, cast their votes there.

Separate foreign media outlets were interested in the results of the Turkmenistan's elections only because Serdar Berdymukhammedov, the son of the incumbent President, is running for office as one of the contenders. He is currently a Member of Parliament and presides in the legislation committee.

According to official data, 91.69% of the total number of voters took part in the Parliamentary elections.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan