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ASHGABAT, December 15, 15:32 /ITAR-TASS/. As many as 78,57 percent of eligible voters participated at 15:00 local time (14:00 Moscow time) on Sunday in the voting at the parliamentary election in the Republic of Turkmenistan, Central Asia. “The election can be considered valid,” the republican Central Elections Commission (CEC) told Itar-Tass. The required turnout of 51 percent is reached.
For the first time in the 22-year history of Turkmenistan’s independence two parties are running in the elections. The Democratic Party, which is founded in 1991 and had been headed by the country’s president before August 2013, the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which was formed in 2012, are the rivals in the parliamentary election. The latter party is not the oppositional one and supports fully the presidential policy. “The election programme goals of the Democratic Party and the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan are identical. Both parties intend to boost socio-economic development in the country and build up the foundations of independence and democracy,” the official announcement of the republican parliamentary elections reads.
The Turkmen parliamentary election is also specific, as a mission of observers from the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) had arrived in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, to monitor the elections. The ODIHR mission consists of 15 observers from 14 member-countries of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE has previously sent only the groups of experts for the Turkmen presidential elections in 2007 and 2012, the parliamentary election in 2008 and the election in the local authorities of the republic in 2010. A delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will also monitor the republican parliamentary election on Sunday, December 15.
The voting will end at 19:00 local time (18:00 Moscow time) on Sunday. The election results will be made public no later than seven days after the parliamentary elections.