A Presidential election was held in Turkmenistan on Sunday 12 February 2017. It is a positive sign that the OSCE/ODIHR was invited by the authorities of Turkmenistan to observe the election, and deployed an Election Assessment Mission in the country. For the first time, candidates from political parties other than from the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and those nominated by citizens’ initiatives were able to register and run in the election, -says the statement of the European External Action Service.
“The European Union will pay careful attention to the final report of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment Mission, with its findings and recommendations. Notwithstanding the report’s findings, it is nevertheless evident that the absence of a functioning opposition, insufficient separation of powers between different branches of government, and the state monopoly over the media sector had a negative impact on the election campaign and limited citizens’ ability to choose between real political alternatives. These weaknesses, alongside additional significant shortcomings related to the freedoms of expression, of peaceful assembly and of the media, as well as access to information, should be effectively addressed by Turkmenistan’s authorities. The European Union stands ready to assist in this process”. – ensured the EEAS service.
“Turkmenistan is an important partner country of the European Union in Central Asia. The European Union stands ready to work with the re-elected President of Turkmenistan to step up its current engagement with this country’s government and its people.”