ASHGABAT, February 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The presidential elections ended in Turkmenistan on Sunday. The turnout has made 96.28% at the moment when the polling stations closed, the Turkmen Central Elections Commission (CEC) reported. The Turkmen electorate makes about three million people.
The Turkmens elected president from eight candidates. Incumbent President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who was elected first time after the death of the first Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov in February 2007, is leading in the elections. Two ministers, the head of a regional organization, the director of the cotton-spinning factory and the heads of production amalgamations in the oil and gas industries are Berdymukhamedov’s rivals in the elections.
The CIS mission of 63 observers was monitoring the presidential elections in the country for the first time. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was represented only at the level of experts. Over 2,300 domestic observers were monitoring the elections.
Local analysts believe that the second round of the elections is hardly probable. Many of them believe that the incumbent president will gain more than 50% of votes.
The turnout has made 98.65% at the previous presidential elections in 2007. Berdymukhamedov gained 89.23% of votes then.
The Turkmen CEC will have a meeting on Monday. Under the law on Turkmen presidential elections the CEC will make public the results of the presidential elections at a meeting of the government. The date of this government meeting was not set yet.