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LAW OF TURKMENISTAN ON ELECTIONS OF MEMBERS OF GENGESHES

CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Foundations of the electoral system

In accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, elections of members of gengeshes, being representative bodies of people’s government in the territory of cities within etraps, settlements, and gengeshliks shall be carried out by citizens of Turkmenistan on competitive principles out of not less than two to three candidates in each districts on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Elections of members of gengeshes shall be conducted in single mandate electoral districts. One member of a gengesh shall be elected from each electoral district.

The territory of one or several villages shall form a gengeshlik, where members of a gengesh shall be elected.

The election process shall be conducted on the basis of the free nomination of candidates for member of gengeshes with the equal enjoyment of rights, transparency and openness, freedom of campaign and equal opportunities for all candidates in the conduct of election campaigns.

The term of office of members of gengeshes shall be three years.

Article 2. Universal suffrage

Elections of members of gengeshes shall be universal. Citizens of Turkmenistan who will have reached the age of 18 by election day shall have the right to vote.

Any direct or indirect limitations on the electoral rights of citizens of Turkmenistan based on ethnic origin, background, proprietary or official status, length of residence in a given region, sex, language, education, attitude towards religion, political affiliation, or party membership shall be prohibited.

Persons suffering from mental disorder, recognised by a kazyet as incapable, persons held in places of deprivation of freedom by a sentence of a kazyet, and persons held in detention as a preventative measure in accordance with legislation, shall not participate in elections.

Article 3. Equal suffrage

All voters shall participate in elections on an equal basis; each voter shall have one vote.

Article 4. Direct suffrage

Elections shall be direct; members of gengeshes shall be elected by citizens directly.

Article 5. Secret ballot 

Voting at elections shall be secret; control over the expression of the will by the voters shall not be permitted.

Article 6. Calling of elections

Election of members of gengeshes shall be conducted in the whole territory of Turkmenistan simultaneously and called by the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan. The resolution on the calling of elections shall be adopted prior to the expiry of the powers of gengeshes.

The date of the election shall be announced in the press.

Article 7. Conduct of elections by election commissions

The conduct of elections of members of gengeshes shall be effected by the respective election commissions, which shall be formed out of representatives of political parties, public associations, bodies of territorial public self-government and groups of citizens, which in military units shall comprise military personnel.

Representatives to election commissions shall be nominated at meetings of primary organisational units of political parties, public associations and meetings of their primary organisational units, at meetings of citizens as well as at meetings of military personnel in military units.

A meeting shall be deemed quorate if attended by not less than 30 voters. Prior to opening of the meeting or session their organizers shall establish the quorum based on the results of registration of the participants of the meeting or session.

Representatives of state bodies may be nominated to election commissions.

Article 8. Material provision for elections

Expenses relating to the preparation and conduct of elections of members of gengeshes shall be covered out of local budgets.

Article 9. Liability for violation of the election law

Persons who hinder by force, deception, threat or other means the free exercise by citizens of Turkmenistan of the right to elect and to be elected as a member of a gengesh or to conduct an election campaign, and also members of election commissions who falsify election documents, deliberately miscalculate votes or permit other violations of this Law, shall bear liability established by law. Persons who disseminate by any means knowingly false or defamatory information about a nominated candidate for member of a gengesh shall also be held liable.

If a candidate him/herself violates this Law the election commission may revoke its decision to register him/her.

Complaints about violations of electoral legislation received by election commissions or state bodies during preparations for an election or during the 15 days after the election shall be considered within one week, whereas those received on the election day shall be considered immediately.

CHAPTER II. ELECTORAL DISTRICTS AND PRECINCTS

Article 10. Formation of electoral districts

From five to eleven electoral districts with an approximately equal number of voters shall be formed for elections of members of gengeshes in cities, settlements, and gengeshliks.

The number of electoral districts shall be established by the respective gengesh within the norm provided for by this article of the Law.

Electoral districts shall be formed by the election commission of the respective city, settlement, or gengeshlik not later than 55 days prior to elections with publication of a list of electoral districts with indication of their boundaries and district centres.

Article 11. Formation of electoral precincts

For the conduct of voting and counting of votes in an election of members of gengeshes the territory of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks shall be divided into electoral precincts.

Electoral precincts may be formed in military units, sanatoriums and rest homes, stationary establishments for medical treatment and in places of residence of citizens located in remote and difficult-to-access areas. Such precincts shall form part of the electoral district in which they are located.

Electoral precincts shall be formed by election commissions of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks. In military units, electoral precincts shall be formed upon the recommendation of commanders of military units.

Article 12. Procedure and norm for formation of electoral precincts

Electoral precincts shall be formed not later than 45 days before the election day. In military units and in remote and difficult-to-access areas precincts shall be formed within the same period, but in exceptional cases may be formed not later than five days before the election.

Electoral precincts shall be formed with a number of voters from 20 to 3,000. In exceptional cases, formation of electoral precincts with fewer than 20 voters shall be permitted.

Gengeshes of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks shall provide for informing voters about the boundaries of each electoral precinct and the location of the precinct election commission and voting premises.

CHAPTER III. ELECTION COMMISSIONS

Article 13. System of election commissions

For the conduct of elections of members of gengeshes there shall be formed:

- election commissions of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks (territorial election commissions);

- precinct election commissions.

The powers of these commissions shall expire upon confirmation of the powers of the elected members of gengeshes.

The Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan shall exercise control over the implementation of this Law.

Article 14. Powers of the Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan in the preparation for and conduct of elections of members of gengeshes

The Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan shall:

exercise control over the implementation of this Law in the whole territory of Turkmenistan and ensure its uniform application;

set the voting hours on election day;

approve the format of ballot papers and forms for the account of the will of voters absent on polling day, voter lists, protocols of sessions of election commissions, standard ballot boxes; the procedure for the storage of election-related documentation;

review complaints and appeals against decisions and actions of election commissions and pass final rulings thereon;

determine the results of the election of members of gengeshes for the whole of Turkmenistan;

exercise other powers in accordance with this Law and other laws of Turkmenistan.

Article 15. Formation of election commissions of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks (territorial election commissions)

Election commissions of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks (territorial election commissions) for elections of members of gengeshes shall be formed by the respective gengeshes not later than 60 days before the election and comprise 7-11 persons. In specific cases the numeric composition of a commission may be changed.

The composition of election commissions shall be made public.

Article 16. Powers of an election commission of a city, settlement, or gengeshlik (territorial election commission)

Election commissions of a city, settlement, or gengeshlik (territorial election commission), in its respective territory, shall:

exercise control over the implementation of this Law and the correctness of the conduct of elections;

form electoral districts and precincts;

form precinct election commissions;

direct the activities of precinct commissions;

render assistance to precinct election commissions in the provision of premises, transport, means of communication and consider other issues of material and technical support to elections;

approve expenditures for the conduct of elections upon recommendation of the archin;

hear reports of precinct election commissions, directors of enterprises, institutions and organisations as well as structural units of public organisations on issues connected with the preparations for and conduct of elections;

supervise the compilation of voter lists and their display for public familiarisation;

decide on issues provided for by this Law related to the organisation of the nomination of candidates for member of a gengesh; control observance of equal conditions for the participation of candidates during the election campaign;

register nominated candidates for member of a gengesh and issue them with appropriate identifications; publish an announcement about the registered candidates, provide for familiarisation of voters with biographical details of candidates for member of a gengesh;

in the case envisaged by Article 9 of this Law, revoke its decision to register a candidate for member of a gengesh;

organise jointly with bodies of local self-government and public associations meetings of candidates for member of a gengesh with voters;

approve for each electoral district the text of the ballot paper and the form for the account of the will of a voter absent on polling day; provide for the production of forms of election documents, ballot papers and absentee voter forms and their supply to precinct election commissions;

establish the results of elections for each electoral district; provide identifications to the elected members of gengeshes;

determine the election results for each city, settlement, and gengeshlik and publish the election results and the list of elected members of a gengesh;

make a decision to hold repeat voting and organise them;

make a decision to hold repeat elections and organise them;

make a decision to hold by-elections of members of a gengesh and organise them;

consider within the periods established by this Law complaints and appeals against decisions and actions of precinct election commissions and pass rulings on them;

effectuate the procedure for the storage of election documents established by the Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan;

exercise other powers in accordance with this Law.

Article 17. Formation of precinct election commissions

Precinct election commissions shall be formed by the election commissions of the respective city, settlement, or gengeshlik not later than 40 days before the election and shall comprise 5-13 persons. If necessary, the formation of precinct election commissions shall be permitted not later than five days before the election with a minimum membership of three persons.

Article 20. Powers of precinct election commissions

A precinct election commission shall:

compile the voter list for the precinct;

familiarise voters with the voter list, receive and review complaints regarding inaccuracies in the list and decide whether to make corresponding amendments thereto;

inform voters about the day of the election, the venue and time of voting;

prepare premises for voting and the ballot boxes;

organise voting at the polling station on election day as well as on the day of repeat voting and repeat elections;

receive from voters who intend to be absent from their place of residence on election day forms for the account of the will of such voters or filled-out ballot papers;

count of votes cast at the polling station and compile the respective protocol;

review within the periods established by this Law complaints and appeals regarding the preparation for the election and the organisation of voting and pass rulings on them;

exercise other powers in accordance with this Law.

Article 19. Organisation of the work of election commissions

The chairman, deputy chairman and secretary of a territorial or precinct election commission shall be elected at the first session of the respective commission which decision shall be made public.

Sessions of an election commission shall be quorate if not less than two thirds of the commission's composition participate in it. A commission's decisions shall be taken by means of open voting by a majority vote of the total composition of the commission. Members of the commission who disagree with a decision shall have the right to express a dissenting opinion, which shall be attached to the protocol in writing.

Decisions of an election commission adopted within the scope of its powers shall be obligatory for implementation by all state authorities and public associations, enterprises, institutions and organisations of all forms of ownership.

Decisions and actions of an election commission may be appealed to a higher election commission.

By a decision of an election commission one of its members may, for the period of the preparation for and conduct of the election, be released from the fulfilment of his/her job or office duties whilst retaining an average wage paid out of the funds allocated for the conduct of elections for the following periods: for a member of a territorial election commission - up to two months; for a member of a precinct election commission -up to one month.

The chairman, deputy chairman, secretary or a member of an election commission may be released from his/her duties on the commission on the initiative of the commission itself, on the recommendation of the body of the public association, meeting of citizens or military personnel which nominated him/her, and also on the basis of and according to the procedure established by Articles 27 and 32 of this Law.

The nomination of a new representative to an election commission and also the election of a new chairman, deputy chairman or secretary of a commission shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure established by this Law.

Article 20. Transparency in the work of election commissions

Election commissions shall inform citizens of their composition, location and of their work; about the registered candidates for member of gengeshes and their biographical details, and about the results of voting for each candidate and the results of the election.

Representatives of political parties, public associations, meetings of voters and state authorities, and candidate proxies as well as representatives of mass media shall be entitled to be present at sessions of election commissions, when ballot boxes are sealed prior to the commencement of voting, during voting and counting of votes at the polling station, determination of the results of the election for the district, and tabulation of the overall election results. Their complaints against violations of this Law shall be considered by election commissions immediately.

Domestic observers and representatives of mass media shall be entitled to be present at sessions of election commissions, when the ballot boxes are sealed prior to the commencement of voting, during voting and counting of votes at the polling station, determination of the results of the election for the district and tabulation of overall election results.

The powers of the said representatives must be certified with appropriate documents. Advance notification to election commissions of a representative's intention to be present on polling day at the premises for voting or at a session of an election commission shall not be required.

Mass media shall cover the preparation and conduct of elections. Election commissions, state authorities and public associations shall provide them with information about the preparation for and conduct of elections.

Article 21. Ensuring working conditions for election commissions

State and public authorities and officials shall be obliged to assist election commissions in the exercise of their powers and to provide to them according to the established procedure the premises, equipment, transport, and information that are necessary for their work, to consider questions raised by an election commission and provide answers to them not later that within a three day period.

Article 22. Appeals against decisions and actions of election commissions

Decisions and actions of election commissions may be appealed according to the established procedure by candidates for member of a gengesh and their proxies as well as by voters to a higher election commission or to a kazyet.

CHAPTER IV. VOTER LISTS

Article 23. The voter list and the procedure for its compilation

A voter list shall be compiled for each electoral precinct and signed by the chairman and secretary of the precinct election commission. The precinct election commission may recruit representatives of the public to participate in compilation of the list.

Bodies of local executive power and of local self-government shall provide for registration of voters and supply to precinct election commissions information about voters residing in the respective territory as is necessary to compile voter lists.

Lists of military voters in military units and also of members of the families of military personnel and of other voters, if they reside within military units, shall be compiled on the basis of data provided by commanders of military units. Military personnel residing outside military units shall be included in the voter list for their place of residence according to the standard procedure.

Voter lists at sanatoriums, rest homes, and stationary establishments for medical treatment shall be compiled on the basis of data provided by the heads of such institutions.

Voters' names shall be indicated in the voter list in an order which is convenient for the organisation of voting.

Article 24. Procedure for inclusion of citizens into a voter list

All citizens of Turkmenistan who have reached 18 years of age by polling day, residing in the territory of a given electoral precinct at the moment when the voter list is compiled and entitled to participate in voting shall be included in the voter list.

A voter may be included in a voter list in only one electoral precinct.

Article 25. Familiarisation of citizens with a voter list and the right to appeal against inaccuracies in a voter list

Voter lists shall be displayed for public familiarisation not later than 10 days before the election and in electoral precincts formed in sanatoriums, rest homes, and stationary establishments for medical treatment - not later than two days before the election.

Citizens shall be provided with an opportunity to familiarise themselves the voter list and to verify their accuracy at the premises of the precinct election commission.

Each citizen shall have the right to appeal against non-inclusion, incorrect inclusion into a list or exclusion from a list and also against inaccuracies in the voter's details as they appear on the list. An appeal regarding inaccuracies in the list shall be considered by the precinct election commission, which shall be obliged to consider the appeal within two days, and on the eve of or on the day of voting, immediately, and to make all necessary corrections to the list or to provide to the appellant a copy of its reasoned decision to refuse the appeal.

CHAPTER V. NOMINATION AND REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES

Article 26. Procedure for nomination of candidates for member of a gengesh

Nomination of candidates for member of gengeshes shall commence 45 days and end 30 days before the election.

Citizens of Turkmenistan who reside or are employed within the territory of the respective city, settlement, or gengeshlik may be nominated as candidates for member of the gengesh.

A person with a conviction which by the time of nomination has not been exculpated or pardoned according to the legally established procedure may not be nominated as candidate for member of a gengesh. The minimum time to pass after the pardon or exculpation of the conviction shall constitute not less than 3 years.

Candidates for member of a gengesh shall be nominated:

by political parties and public associations registered according to the procedure established by law – at sessions of their etrap bodies and meetings of their primary organizational units. Public associations shall be entitled to hold joint sessions and meetings on the nomination of candidates;

at meetings of citizens convened upon the initiative of both the territorial election commission and the initiative of a group of voters. The meeting shall be deemed quorate if attended by not fewer than 50 voters residing in the territory o the electoral district. Participants of such meeting shall be subject to registration whereby the surname, first name, patronymic, date of birth and place of residence of each voter shall be indicated in the registration list.

An unlimited number of candidacies for members of a gengesh may be discussed and nominated at such meetings and sessions. Each participant at the meeting or session shall have the right to propose candidates, participate in discussing them, support or reject them, or propose for discussion as candidate for member of a gengesh his/her own candidacy.

A candidate for member of a gengesh shall be deemed to have been nominated if more than half of the members of the respective election body of a public association or more than half of the participants of the meeting of citizens have voted for him/her.

The nomination decision shall be taken by an open or secret vote. The procedure for voting and other procedural issues of holding the meeting shall be determined by the participants of the meeting or session.

A protocol shall be drawn up regarding the nomination of the candidate for member of a gengesh with the list of participants of the voter’s meeting attached which within a two-day period, but not later than on the first working day after the expiry of the nomination period, shall be submitted to the territorial election commission. The candidate for member of a gengesh shall be informed about the adopted decision on his/her nomination within the same time period.

A nominated candidate shall inform the territorial election commission in writing about his/her consent to stand for election before the day when the commission registers candidates for member of gengeshes. The territorial election commission shall inform the candidate for member of a gengesh of the date of registration well in advance.

Article 27. Registration of candidates for member of gengeshes

Candidates for member of gengeshes of cities, settlements, and gengeshliks shall be registered by the respective territorial election commission. Registration shall commence 35 days and finish 25 days before election day.

In each electoral district not less than two to three candidates for member of the gengesh shall be nominated for registration. The decision to register candidates for member of a gengesh is adopted provided the protocols of the meetings and sessions on the nomination of candidates for member of a gengesh and the statements of nominated candidates confirming their consent to stand for election are available.

The territorial election commission shall draw up a protocol regarding the registration of candidates for member of a gengesh, which, together with the statements of the candidates, shall be stored by the respective territorial election commission.

The territorial election commission shall be obliged to register all candidates for member of a gengesh who have been nominated in compliance with the requirements of this Law. A refusal to register may be appealed within a three-day period to the Central Commission for Elections and Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan.

A candidate for member of a gengesh may be registered in only one electoral district. Each registered candidate for member of a gengesh shall be issued an appropriate identification.

A person nominated as a candidate for member of a gengesh who is on any election commission shall be deemed to have been released from his/her duties on the commission as of the moment of his/her registration as a candidate for member of a gengesh.

Not later than on the fourth day after registration of candidates for member of the gengesh, the territorial election commission shall publish a registration announcement indicating the surname, first name, patronymic, year of birth, position occupied (occupation), and the place of employment and residence of each candidate for members of the gengesh.

Article 28. Revocation of a decision to nominate a candidate for members of gengeshes Candidate's withdrawal of his/her candidacy

Political parties, public associations, and meetings of citizens that have nominated a candidate for member of a gengesh shall have the right to revoke at any time prior to the election their decision to nominate a candidate for member of a gengesh. The relevant decision shall be adopted according to the procedure provided for nominating candidates for member of a gengesh and shall be forwarded to the territorial election commission.

At any time before the election a candidate for member of a gengesh may withdraw his/her candidacy by submitting a relevant request to the election commission which registered him/her as candidate for member of a gengesh in writing.

The election commission shall inform voters of the revocation of a decision to nominate a candidate for member of a gengesh or of the withdrawal by a candidate of her/her candidacy.

Article 29. Procedure for nomination of candidates for member of a gengesh to replace former candidates

Where persons cease to be candidates for member of a gengesh upon the expiry of the term for nominating candidates and no other candidates remain in the electoral district, the territorial election commission shall invite bodies of political parties, public associations and also voters in the district to nominate new candidates for member of the gengesh.

Where persons cease to be candidates less than 20 days before polling day, the election of members of the gengesh from the respective electoral district shall be held within two months after the general election.

The nomination of candidates for member of a gengesh in place of those whose candidacy ceased shall be conducted according to the procedure established by this Law.

Article 30. The ballot paper

The ballot paper shall include in alphabetical order all the registered candidates for member of the gengesh for a given electoral district with the indication of the surname, first name, patronymic, position occupied (occupation), and place of employment and residence of each candidate for members of the gengesh. The ballot papers shall be printed in the state language and also in any other language used by the majority of the population of the electoral district.

CHAPTER VI. GUARANTEES OF THE ACTIVITIES OF CANDIDATES FOR MEMBEROF A GENGESH

Article 31. Rights of candidates for member of a gengesh

From the moment of their registration by territorial election commissions, candidates for member of a gengesh shall have equal rights to appear at election meetings, gatherings, sessions, in the press, on television and radio.

Bodies of local executive power and local self-government, directors of enterprises, institutions and organisations shall be obliged to provide candidates for member of a gengesh with assistance in the organisation of meetings with voters and in receiving necessary reference and informational materials.

The use by candidates for member of a gengesh of their official position to conduct their election campaign shall not be permitted.

A candidate for member of a gengesh may not be brought to criminal liability, taken into custody or by other means deprived of his/her freedom without the consent of the respective territorial election commission.

Article 32. Proxies of a candidate for member of a velayat or city gengesh

A candidate for member of a gengesh may have up to three proxies, who assist him/her in conducting the election campaign and campaign for his/her election as member of a gengesh, and shall represent his/her interests in relations with state authorities and public associations, voters and also before election commissions.

After registration, a candidate for member of a gengesh shall appoint proxies at own discretion and notify the respective territorial election commission of the same for the purpose of their registration. After registration of the proxies, the election commission shall issue them with identification documents. A candidate for member of a gengesh shall have the right to replace his/her proxies at any time before the election.

A proxy may not serve on corresponding election commissions. The powers of proxies shall expire after the powers of the elected member of a gengesh have been confirmed.

Article 33. Election campaign

All citizens, political parties, and public associations shall be guaranteed the opportunity to discuss freely and comprehensively political, business, and personal qualities of candidates for member of a gengesh, and also the right to campaign for or against a candidate at meetings and in mass media.

Candidates for member of a gengesh shall meet with their voters both at meetings and in other forms convenient for voters. Meetings with voters shall be organised by the election commission together with the respective bodies of local executive power and local self-government.

Voters shall be informed of the time and place at which meetings and gatherings are to be held well in advance.

Campaigning on polling day shall not be permitted.

CHAPTER VII. PROCEDURE FOR VOTING AND TABULATION OF ELECTION RESULTS

Article 34. Time and place of voting

The voting hours for elections of members of gengeshes shall be established by the Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan. Precinct election commissions shall notify voters of the time and place of voting not later than ten days before the election.

A precinct election commission may declare voting to be completed at any time if all the voters included in the list have voted and may proceed to count the votes before the time established by the Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan as the end of voting.

Article 35. Organisation of voting

Voting shall be conducted in specially designated premises which shall be furnished with sufficient polling booths or rooms for secret voting and specific places for issuing ballot papers, and in which ballot boxes shall be set up in such a manner that the voter is obliged to pass through a polling booth or room for secret voting in order to reach the ballot boxes.

Precinct election commissions shall be responsible for the organisation of voting, ensuring the secrecy of the expression of will by voters, equipment of the premises and maintenance of order at them as necessary.

Before the beginning of voting on polling day the ballot boxes shall be checked and sealed by the chairman of the precinct commission in the presence of members of the commission.

Each voter shall vote in person; voting on behalf of others shall not be permitted. Ballot papers shall be issued by the precinct election commission on the basis of the precinct voter list upon presentation of a passport or another identification document.

The voter list shall be marked to indicate that the ballot paper has been issued.

In cases where particular voters are unable to come to the polling station owing to the state of their health or other reasons, at their request the precinct election commission shall authorise particular members of the commission to organise voting at the place of such voters’ location.

Article 36. Conduct of voting

The ballot paper shall be filled out by the voter in a polling booth or a room for secret voting. It shall be forbidden for anyone whatsoever to be present when the ballot paper is filled out other than the voter. A voter who is unable to fill out the ballot paper by him/herself shall have the right to invite into the polling booth or room another person of his/her own choice but excluding members of the election commission, representatives of political parties and public associations, proxies of candidates for member of the a gengesh, and observers.

At elections of members of a gengesh the voter shall cross out on the ballot paper the surnames of those candidates against whom he/she is voting.

The voter shall drop the filled out ballot paper in the ballot box.

Article 37. Voting procedure for voters who are away from their place of residence on election day

A voter who is unable to be at his/her place of residence on polling day (away on a business trip, on vacation, or for medical treatment) shall have the right to convey to the precinct election commission in advance an expression of his/her will regarding candidates for member of a gengesh who are standing for election.

From the moment when voter lists are displayed for public familiarisation a voter may receive at the polling station a form for the account of the will of a voter absent from his/her place of residence on polling day or a ballot paper if printed ballot papers are already available at the electoral precinct. The form for the account of the will of a voter or ballot paper shall be issued to the voter on the basis of the voter list upon presentation of a passport or another identification document to which effect the voter shall sign the voter list.

In conditions excluding control over the expression of his/her will, the voter shall cross out on the form or ballot paper the surnames of the candidates he/she is voting against. The filled out form or ballot paper shall be dropped in the ballot box for voting by voters who are absent from their place of residence on polling day. Such ballot box shall be sealed well in advance in the presence of members of the precinct election commission. Before the commencement of voting on polling day all unused blank forms for the account of the will of voters shall be counted and cancelled by precinct election commissions.

Article 38. Counting of votes at the polling station

Counting of votes at the polling station shall be conducted separately for each candidate for member of a gengesh.

Ballot boxes, including those for voting by voters who were absent on polling day, shall be opened by the precinct election commission after the chairman of the commission has declared that voting is finished. The opening of ballot boxes before voting finishes shall be forbidden. Before the ballot boxes are opened all unused ballot papers shall be counted and cancelled by the precinct election commission.

On the basis of the voter list, the precinct election commission shall determine the total number of voters for each electoral district and the number of voters who were issued ballot papers and forms for the account of the will of voters absent on polling day. On the basis of the ballot papers and the said forms found in the ballot boxes the commission shall determine: the total number of voters who participated in voting; the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against each candidate for member of a gengesh; the number of votes cast against all candidates; the number of ballot papers and forms deemed invalid. Where citizens' surnames have been added in writing on the ballot paper or form by the voter, such votes shall not be counted. Where a vote is cast for a candidate for member of a gengesh who ceased to be a candidate before polling day, that ballot paper or form for the account of the will of an absent voter shall not be taken into account when the votes are counted.

Non-standard ballot papers and forms shall be deemed invalid. Where doubts arise about the validity of a ballot paper or form the issue shall be resolved by the precinct election commission by means of a vote. If more than one candidate is left on a ballot paper or form for the account of the will of an absent voter, it shall be deemed invalid.

The results of the vote count shall be considered at a session of the precinct election commission and entered into protocols compiled for each electoral district separately. The protocol shall be signed by the chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and members of the commission and immediately forwarded to the territorial election commission Dissenting opinions of members of the commission and complaints and appeals received by the commission concerning violations committed in the course of voting or the counting of votes shall be attached to the protocol.

Article 39. Establishing the results of the poll for the electoral district and registration of members of a gengesh

On the basis of the protocols of precinct election commissions the territorial election commission shall at its session establish the results of elections for electoral districts.

The candidate for member of a gengesh who has received in the election more than half of the votes of voters who participated in voting shall be deemed to be elected.

A territorial election commission may deem the election invalid owing to violations of this Law committed in the course of the election or the counting of the votes.

A territorial election commission shall deem the election void if less than half the voters on the voter lists participated in it, and also in the case of death of one of the two candidates for member of a gengesh registered in that district.

Based on the results of the vote count, the territorial election commission shall compile a protocol on the results of elections of a member of the respective gengesh for each district and shall register them. The protocol shall be signed by the chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and members of the commission

The results of elections for a city, settlement, or gengeshlik as well as for electoral districts shall be published by the respective territorial election commission not later than on the fifth day after the elections. This announcement shall indicate: the total number of citizens included into voter lists; the number of voters who participated in voting; the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against each candidate; the number of votes cast against all candidates; the number of invalid ballot papers and forms for the account of the will of voters absent on polling day; the list of elected members of the gengesh in the alphabetical order with the surname, first name, patronymic, position occupied (occupation), and place of work and residence of each.

Article 40. Confirmation of the powers of members of a gengesh

The confirmation of the powers of elected members of a gengesh shall be considered at a session of the gengesh.

CHAPTER VIII. REPEAT VOTING. REPEAT ELECTIONS AND BY –ELECTIONS OF MEMBERS OF A GENGESH

Article 41. Repeat voting

Where three or more candidates for member of a gengesh stood for election in an electoral district and none of them was elected, the territorial election commission shall adopt a decision to conduct repeat voting in the district between the two candidates who received the largest number of votes. The precinct election commissions shall inform the voters in the district about this decision.

Repeat voting in an electoral district shall be conducted within a two-week period with observance of the requirements of this Law.

The candidate for member of a gengesh who receives the larger number of votes from voters who participated in the repeat voting compared to the other candidate shall be deemed to have been elected.

Where one of the candidates ceases to be a candidate for any reason the repeat voting shall be conducted with respect to the one remaining candidate for member of a gengesh. He/She shall be deemed elected if he/she receives more than half of the votes of voters who participated in the poll.

Article 42. Repeat elections

Where elections in an electoral district have been declared void or invalid, or repeat voting has failed to determine an elected member of a gengesh, the respective territorial election commission shall adopt a decision to hold a repeat election and organize it. In doing so it may decide that the election be conducted by newly constituted precinct election commissions. Voting shall be conducted in the same electoral precincts and using the same voter lists as compiled for the general election.

Where a repeat election is held those candidates who were not elected as members of a gengesh at the general election may stand for election again.

Repeat elections shall be held within a two month period after the general election. The nomination and registration of candidates for member of a gengesh and other measures shall be conducted according to the procedure established in this Law. Voters in the electoral district shall be informed that a repeat election is to be held.

Article 43. Conduct of by-elections of members of a gengesh

Where members of a gengesh cease to be members before the expiry of their term in a particular electoral district a by-election shall be held within three months after his/her membership ceased. The elections shall be called by the respective gengesh not later than two months before they are held and shall be organized in compliance with the requirements of this Law.

Where an electoral district in its territory equals or is less than the territory of an electoral precinct and is its constituent part, the functions of the territorial election commission shall be performed by the precinct election commission whose composition shall be approved by the respective gengesh.

Where a member of a gengesh ceases to be a member less than six months before the expiry of his/her powers a by-election of a gengesh member shall not be held.

CHAPTER IX. CALLING EARLY ELECTIONS OF MEMBERS OF GENGESHES. HOLDING ELECTIONS OF MEMBERS OF A GENGESH IN A NEWLY-FORMED CITY WITHIN AN ETRAP, SETTLEMENT, OR GENGESHLIK

Article 44. Calling early elections of members of gengeshes

In cases, predetermined by the needs of the political and socio-economic development of the country as well as the necessity to make reforms and transformations taking place in the state and society more dynamic, elections of members of gengeshes may be held early, prior to the expiry of their powers. Early elections of members of gengeshes shall be called by the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan and conducted in accordance with this Law.

Article 45. Holding elections of members of a gengesh in a newly-formed city within an etrap, settlement, or gengeshlik

Elections of members of a gengesh in a newly-formed city within an etrap, settlement, or gengeshlik shall be conducted in cases when the formation of a gengesh is impossible due to absence or insufficient number of elected members.

In particular cases, in view of the changes in the administrative territorial structure, the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan or the President of Turkmenistan may, within the scope of their powers, adopt a decision to uphold powers of gengeshes with the number of mandates lower than the norm stipulated by Article 10 of this Law.

Elections of members of a gengesh shall be called by the Central Commission for Elections and the Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan within two months after the day of the formation of the city within an etrap, settlement, or territory and conducted in accordance with the present Law.

The composition of the city, settlement, or gengeshlik election commission shall be approved by the respective etrap or city halk maslahaty.

Electoral districts and precincts shall be formed by the respective city, settlement, or gengeshlik election commission.

The hyakim of the etrap or city shall publish a list of electoral districts and precincts with the indication of their boundaries and centres and shall inform voters about the location of the precinct election commissions and voting premises.

CHAPTER X. PROCEDURE FOR RECALLING A MEMBER OF A GENGESH

Article 46. Grounds for a recall of a member of a gengesh

The grounds for a recall of a member of a gengesh shall be a violation of the Constitution and laws of Turkmenistan and recurrent non-fulfilment of his/her responsibilities.

Article 47. Raising the issue of recall of a member of a gengesh

The issue of recall of a member of a gengesh may be initiated:

at meetings (conferences, plenary sessions, councils), gatherings of bodies of political parties or public associations which nominated the candidate for member of a gengesh;

by meetings of citizens residing in the territory of the given electoral district when not fewer than 50 voters participate therein;

The member of a gengesh shall be entitled to attend sessions or meetings at which the issue of his\her recall is considered. The member of a gengesh shall be notified where and when such session or meeting is to be held well in advance. After such notification his\her non-attendance shall not prevent consideration of this issue.

Article 48. Adoption of a decision on the issue of recall of a member of a gengesh

The issue of recall of a member of a gengesh shall be considered at a session of the respective gengesh. The decision about the recall of a member of a gengesh shall be deemed approved if it is voted for by not less than two thirds of the total membership of the gengesh. Such decision of a session shall be made public to the voters in the district.

Article 49. Appeals against violation of the procedure for recalling a member of a gengesh

Complaints and appeals regarding recall of a member of a gengesh shall be reviewed by the Central Commission for Elections and Conduct of Referendums in Turkmenistan.

Chairman of

the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan,

President of Turkmenistan

Saparmurat Turkmenbashi

City of Ashgabat, 25 October 2005