In the framework of Enhancing Electoral system and processes in Turkmenistan project, UNDP Turkmenistan in partnership with CEC organized a whole range of capacity building activities before upcoming Halk Maslakhaty elections on 5 December, 2010.
BRIDGE Electoral Observers training was conducted in 5 Vilayets of Turkmenistan (Ashkhabad, Mary, Lebap, Dashoguz, Balkan) from 1-12 November, 2010 by Amalia Stepanyan.
The aim of the training for National Observers was to
During the 5 trainings there were 126 participants, 49 from which were women.
For majority of the participants this was their first training with interactive and participatory methodologies which helped them to share experiences and learnt a lot about electoral observers.
This training helped them to understand the important role of observers during the election, the reason for having observers, their responsibilities and rights.
We discussed the new Electoral law in terms of observers, as well as international norms and guidelines for local and international observers.
In general, there was interest and commitment in continuing and investing BRIDGE in the Electoral Management capacity building in Turkmenistan and this series of trainings were only the beginning.
After 69 years as part of the Soviet Union (including 67 years as a union republic), Turkmenistan declared its independence on 27 October 1991.
According to the Constitution of Turkmenistan is a presidential republic. The President is the Head of State and the Chairperson of the Cabinet of Ministers. The Legislative power is exercised by the Mejlis.
Turkmenistan has witnessed numerous profound changes since early 2007. For the first time since Independence the election to the office of the President was contested by more than one candidate, and the exercise was conducted under a specific election law.
The President lauded the elections of the parliament in December 2008 as a departure from the past and for the first time ever invited international observers to the country as it strives to make a transition to a more open political system. Recent statement of President indicates the transition of Turkmenistan to the Multi-Party political system which promises range of challenges for the electoral process and the democratic development in general.