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Turkmen parliamentary elections first time to be held under two-party system

September 26, 2013, 17:35 UTC+3

The election campaign will be launched on October 5

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ASHGABAT, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - For the first time in independent Turkmenistan’s history the upcoming December 15 elections to the Majlis (Parliament) will take place according to a two-party system. The Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (DPT), founded in 1991 and until this August led by the country’s president, and the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (PIE), formed in 2012, will be competing for the deputy mandates. PIE is actually not an opposition party - it fully supports the policy of the country’s president, the Central Commission for elections and referenda of Turkmenistan reported on Thursday.

According to it, the election campaign will be launched on October 5. The nomination of candidates will be held from 16 October to 14 November, and their registration - from 26 October to 20 November.

The Turkmen citizens are to elect choose 125 members of parliament in single-member constituencies for a five-year term. The country’s Parliament has only one representative of the PIE, which includes more than two thousand members, compared with some 190 thousand in the DPT. At the Democratic Party’s congress in August, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov resigned as its chairman “in order not create advantages in the multi-party system conditions for the party in which he has membership.”

The previous parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan were held in December 2008, when in accordance with a new version of the country’s Constitution (2008) the deputy corps was enlarged from 65 to 125 members. Akja Nurberdiyeva has been the parliament’s speaker since 2007.

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