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ASHGABAT, February 12 (Itar-Tass) — All the eight candidates came to polling stations on Turkmen presidential elections among the first, reported the press service of the Turkmen government.
The incumbent head of state Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, running for the second term of office, came at the opening of polling station No. 11 in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat. He came with his father, son and grandson.
Myalikguly Berdymukhamedov, an honorary pensioner of the country’s Interior Ministry, was the first to realize his constitutional right. He turned 80 this year. One of military units of the Interior Ministry where he had served many years, was named after him on the eve of the elections.
Following his voting, the head of state wished all the present success in conducting this very important socio-political action and expressed confidence that the elections all over the country will pass at a high organizational level.
“Turkmen people, expressing sincerely their will on Sunday, will take a correct and weighted decision on this serious and responsible choice,” the government press service quotes the president’s words at the polling station.
Turkmenistan holds on Sunday the second (in the country’s history) alternative elections of a president who is also head of government. Opponents of the incumbent president include two ministers, the head of a regional organization, the director of a cotton-spinning factory and chiefs of production amalgamations in the oil and gas industries.
As many as 2,307 polling stations are open at 08.00 on Sunday. Out of the total, 29 operate at Turkmen diplomatic missions abroad. There are nearly three million registered voters. The international monitoring of the Turkmen presidential elections is conducted, for the first time, by an observer mission from the CIS, consisting of 63 members. National observers number 2,300.