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Turkmenistan adopts new constitution extending presidential term

September 14, 2016, 11:34 UTC+3 ASHGABAT

The presidential term has been extended from five to seven years, and the 70-year age limit for presidential candidates ha also been removed from the amended constitution

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President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

ASHGABAT, September 14. /TASS/. A new constitution of Turkmenistan that extends the presidential term from five to seven years was endorsed by the country’s parliament on Wednesday.

A respective law was signed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow at the meeting of the Council of Elders in the capital Ashgabat, the government’s official portal said. "The historic decision received a standing ovation," it said.

The amended constitution also removes the 70-year age limit for presidential candidates. It also envisages a multiparty system and stresses the need to create conditions for developing the civil society and public associations.

Another important provision says that Turkmenistan will now have a human rights commissioner, for the first time in the Central Asian country’s history.

The constitution has 28 new articles and 80 amended articles.

The parliament noted that a constitutional commission on improving the country’s key law had worked successfully over the past two years. The first draft was published for a nationwide discussion last September.

"The draft of the main law was prepared in cooperation and taking into account the proposals of experts of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the German Society for International Cooperation and other international organizations that are the country’s long-term partners," the government said in a statement.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, 59, has served as the president of Turkmenistan since February 2007. He became acting president after the death of President Saparmurat Niyazov in December 2006 and won the presidential election.

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