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THE LAW OF TURKMENISTAN

On presidential elections in Turkmenistan

Section I. General provisions

Article 1. Fundamentals of the electoral system

1. In accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan elections of the President of Turkmenistan, who is the head of the state and executive power of Turkmenistan, shall be carried out by the citizens of Turkmenistan on the basis of general, equal and direct right to vote by secret ballot.

2. Election process shall be brought into effect on the basis of free and equitable nomination of candidates for the office of President of Turkmenistan, publicity and openness, freedom of agitation, equal opportunities for all candidates in the course of the election campaign.

3. The term of office of the President of Turkmenistan shall be five years.

Article 2. Universal suffrage

1. The right to elect shall be possessed by the citizens of Turkmenistan who, by the date of elections, have attained to the age of 18 years.

2. Any direct or indirect restrictions on voting rights of the citizens of Turkmenistan on the grounds of nationality, origin, property status and official position, place of residence, sex, language, education, relation to religion, political convictions, party affiliation or the lack thereof, shall be forbidden.

3. Persons not participating in the elections shall be those mentally diseased, or admitted by court legally incapable, as well as persons being kept by sentence of the court in institutions of confinement and those in respect of whom preventive punishment measure of holding in custody was applied in accordance with the procedure established by law.

Article 3. Equal suffrage

All electors shall participate in the elections on an equal footing; each elector shall have one vote.

Article 4. Direct suffrage

Elections shall be direct; the President of Turkmenistan shall be elected by the citizens directly.

Article 5. Secret ballot

Voting in the elections shall be secret; control over the declaration of will of electors shall not be allowed.

Article 6. Calling the elections

1. Elections of the President of Turkmenistan shall be fixed by Khalk Maslakhaty (People’s Council) of Turkmenistan at least two months before the expiration of the term of his presidency.

2. In the event that the President of Turkmenistan can not, for any reason, perform his duties, presidential elections shall be fixed by Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan. In this case organization and holding of elections shall be executed with the observance of requirements of this Law.

3. The population shall be informed of the date of holding elections through mass media.

Article 7. Holding elections by the election committees

1. Holding elections of the President of Turkmenistan shall be ensured by the appropriate election committees, which shall be formed out of representatives of political parties, public associations, organs of territorial public self-government, groups of citizens, armed forces personnel in the military units.

2. Representatives in the membership of the election committees shall be nominated at conferences, plenary sessions, councils of velayat, etrap and city units of political parties, public associations and at meetings of their primary organizations; meetings of citizens convened both on the initiative of khyakims (mayors), archyns and on the initiative of the groups of citizens. A meeting of citizens shall be considered legally competent if it is attended by not less than 30 voters residing in the territory of the given constituency.

3. Representatives of state authorities shall be able to be nominated for membership in the election committees.

Article 8. Financing of elections

Expenses related to preparation and holding of elections of the President of Turkmenistan shall be incurred on account of the State Budget of Turkmenistan. Financing of elections on account of other sources shall be forbidden.

Article 9. Responsibility for violation of the election law 

1. Persons obstructing by means of violence, fraud, threats or in any other way free exercise by a citizen of Turkmenistan of his/her right to elect and be elected the President of Turkmenistan, conduct the election campaign, as well as members of the election committees who committed forgery of electoral documents or knowingly wrong count of ballots or any other breaches of this Law, shall bear responsibility established by this Law. Other persons to be subject to institution of proceedings shall be those disseminating in any way deliberately false and defaming/discrediting information about the presidential contender.

2. In case of violation of this Law by the contender himself, respective election committee shall be able to reverse the decision of his registration.

3. Statements of breaches of the election legislation received by the election committees or organs of state authority during the period of preparations for the elections, or within 15 days following the elections, shall be examined in a one week period, whereas those received on the date of elections shall be examined promptly.

Section II. Constituencies and precincts

Article 10. Formation of a constituency

1. For the purpose of elections of the President of Turkmenistan constituencies /electoral districts/ shall be established within the borders of each etrap, city with the rights of etrap, as well as etraps of the city. The constituencies shall be formed by the Central Commission for holding elections and referenda in Turkmenistan (hereinafter referred to as Central Election Committee, Centrizbircom).

2. The list of electoral districts /constituencies/ with indication of their borders and centers shall be published by Centrizbircom in the newspaper “Turkmenistan” not later than 60 days before the elections date.

Article 11. Formation of precincts

1. For the purpose of polling and counting of votes in the elections of the President of Turkmenistan the territories of etraps and cities shall be divided into precincts /electoral Areas/.

2. In the military units, sanatoriums and holiday centers, in-patient health facilities, areas of stay of citizens located in remote and difficult of access regions precincts/electoral areas may be formed, which shall be part of constituencies by their place of location.

3. Precincts/electoral areas/ may also be formed at the institutions of Turkmenistan located abroad. They shall fall under a constituency determined by Centrizbircom.

4. Precincts shall be formed by the district election committees upon the presentation of Khalk Maslakhaty of etraps and cities, whereas in military units by the commanders of these units.

Article 12. Procedure and norms for the formation of precincts

1. Precincts shall be formed not later than 45 days before the elections, and in exceptional cases at least five days before the elections.

2. Precincts shall be formed with the number of voters from 20 up to 3000 persons. In exceptional cases the formation of electoral areas shall be allowed for those with the number of voters less than 20 persons.

3. District election committees shall ensure notification of the electors of the borders of each precinct with the indication of location of the election committee of the precinct.

Section III. Election committees

Article 13. Structure of election committees

1. For the purpose of elections of the President of Turkmenistan the following election committees shall be established:

1) Centrizbirkom /Central Election Committee/;

2) election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat;

3) district election committees /election committees of the constituencies/;

4) election committees of the precincts/electoral areas.

2. The powers of the district and area election committees shall be terminated upon recognition of powers of the elected President of Turkmenistan.

Article 14. Formation of Central Election Committee /Centrizbircom/

1. Centrizbircom shall be formed by Khalk Maslakhaty /People’s Council/ of Turkmenistan.

2. Centrizbircom shall organize its work in accordance with the Law of Turkmenistan "On

Central Committee for Holding Elections and Referenda in Turkmenistan".

Article 15. Powers of Central Election Committee in preparation and organization of presidential elections in Turkmenistan

Centrizbircom in the course of preparation and organization of elections of the President of Turkmenistan shall:

1) exercise control over the implementation of this Law in the territory of Turkmenistan and  ensure its uniform application, provide an explanation on the procedure of application thereof;

2) guide the activities of the election committees;

3) form electoral districts /constituencies/ for the elections of the President of  Turkmenistan, publish in mass media the list of constituencies with indication of their borders and centre;

4) form election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat;

5) distribute the funds allocated from the State Budget of Turkmenistan for financing the elections and supervise the purposeful use thereof in accordance with the legislation of Turkmenistan;

6) fix the time of voting on the day of elections;

7) fix the format of the ballot papers and form for accounting of the opinion of the voter who was absent on the date of elections, the list of voters, minutes of meetings of the election committees, other electoral documents, patterns of ballot boxes; organize printing of election-related forms, and provide election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat thereof;

8) hear the messages of the election committees, leaders of the ministries and other central state run public authorities, organs of local executive authorities and local self-government on the issues  related to preparation and holding of elections;

9) register nominated contenders for the office of the President of Turkmenistan, issue corresponding certificates to them; publish in press reports on the registered presidential contenders;

10) supervise the observance of equal conditions for participation of the contenders for the office of the President of Turkmenistan in the course of election campaign;

11) reckon up the outcome of presidential elections in Turkmenistan on the whole,  publish in press a report on the election results  and the elected President of Turkmenistan;

12) issue a certificate to the elected President of Turkmenistan;

13) examine the applications and complaints about the decisions and actions of the election committees and make decisions thereof;

14) determine the order of storing documentation related to organization and holding of elections;

15) provide for methodical support of the election committees’ activities;

16) discharge other powers in accordance with this Law and other laws of Turkmenistan.

Article 16. Formation of election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat

Election committees of veayats and the city of Ashgabat for the elections of the President of Turkmenistan numbering 9-13 members shall be formed by Centrizbircom not later than 55 days before the elections. In case of need the membership /composition of the committee may be changed.

Article 17. Powers of election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat

Election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat in the respective territory shall:

1) exercise control over the implementation of this Law;

2) form the district/constituency/ election committees for the elections of the President of Turkmenistan;

3) guide the activities of the district/constituency/ and area/precinct/ election committees;

4) control the provision of district and area election committees with premises, transport, communications, and handle other matters regarding logistical support of the elections;

5) hear the messages of the district and area election committees, representatives of bodies of local executive authorities and local self-government, leaders of enterprises, institutions and organizations on the  issues related to preparation and holding of elections;

6) organize production of bulletins, forms for accounting of the electors’ opinion, publishing of posters with biographic data of the presidential contenders and provide the election committees of the precinct thereof;

7) summarize voting results for the velayat and the city of Ashgabat, expedite the district election committees’ records to Centrizbircom;

8) examine, within the term established by this Law, applications and complaints about decisions and actions of the district and area election committees and make decisions thereof;

9) enforce the procedure for keeping elections-related documentation established by Centrizbircom;

10) discharge other powers in accordance with this Law.

Article 18. Formation of the district/constituency/ election committees

1. District/constituency election committee for the elections of the President of Turkmenistan numbering 11-13 members shall be formed in each electoral district not later than 50 days before the elections. In case of need membership/composition/ of the district commission may be changed.

2. District election committees shall be formed by the election committees of velayats and the city of Ashgabat upon presentation by Khalk Maslakhaty of etraps and cities.

Article 19. Powers of district/constituency/ election committees

District election committee in the territory of its electoral district shall:

1) exercise control over the implementation of this Law;

2) form electoral areas and area election committees, guide the activities of these committees;

3) hear the messages of district election committees, representatives of local executive authorities organs and local self-government, leaders of enterprises, institutions and organizations regarding the issues related to the preparation and holding of the elections;

4) ensure control over the compilation of electoral registers and presentation thereof for general familiarization;

5) register fiduciaries of presidential contenders in the district and issue to them corresponding certificates;

6) organize, jointly with the organs of local executive authorities, local self-government and public associations, meetings of presidential contenders with the electors;

7) ascertain  results of the elections in the election district/constituency/;

8) examine, within the term established by this Law, applications and complaints about decisions and actions of the district election committees and make decisions on them;

9) discharge other powers in accordance with this Law.

Article 20. Formation of election committees of the areas/precicnts

Precinct election committees numbering 5-15 members shall be formed by the corresponding district election committee upon presentation by khalk maslakhaty of etraps and cities and Gengeshy not later than 40 days before the elections. In case of need formation of precinct election committees numbering not less than three members shall be allowed not later than five days before the election.

Article 21. Powers of the precinct election committees

Precinct election committee shall:

1) compile the electoral register of the precinct;

2) carry out familiarization of the electors with the electoral register, accept and examine applications about irregularities in the register and decide the issue of introduction of appropriate changes to it;

3) inform the electors of the elections date, place and time of voting;

4) ensure preparation of premises for voting and ballot boxes;

5) organize voting at polling station on the day of elections, including on the day of repeated voting and election;

6) receive from the electors who presumably will not be available by place of residence on the date of elections, the form for accounting opinions of such electors or their filled out ballot-papers;

7) carry out counting of votes given at the polling station and draw up a corresponding report/record;

8) examine, within the term established by this Law, applications and complaints regarding the issues of preparation of the elections and organization of voting and decide on these issues;

9) discharge other powers in accordance with this Law.

Article 22. Organization of work of election committees

1. The chairman, vice-chairman and secretary of the velayat, Ashgabat city, district and precinct election committees shall be chosen at the first meeting of the respective election committee and the decision thereof shall be published in press.

2. Meetings of the election committee shall be legally competent if the number of participants is not less than two thirds of the committee membership. The decisions of the election committee shall be taken by open vote by a majority of total membership of the commission. The members of the election committee who disagree with its decision shall have right to voice their individual opinion, which shall be attached in written form to the report /protocol.

3. Decisions of the election committee taken within the limits of its powers shall be binding upon all state and public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations regardless of their patterns of ownership.

4. By decision of the election committee one of its members can be dispensed from his/her work duties or official responsibilities for the period of preparation and holding of elections with reservation of the average wage on account of funds allocated for holding the elections, for the following periods:

for a member of velayat, Ashgabat city district election committee – up to two months,

for a member of the precinct election committee – up to one month.

5. The chairman, vice-chairman, secretary or member of the election committee can be dispensed from their duties in the committee on the initiative of the committee proper, or upon the presentation of the organ of public association which nominated thereof, or a meeting of the group of citizens or military personnel, as well as on the grounds of and in accordance with the procedure established in Articles 31 and 35 of this Law.

6. Nomination of a new member to the election committee, as well as election of a new chairman, vice-chairman or secretary of the committee shall be executed in accordance with the procedure established by this Law.

Article 23. Publicity in the work of election committees

1. Election committees shall inform the citizens of their membership, location and the work they carry out, registered candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan and their biographic data, results of voting for each candidate and overall outcome of the elections.

2. Representatives of political parties, public associations, meetings of electors, state organs, fiduciaries of the candidates shall have right to attend at the sessions of election committees, at the moment of sealing the ballot boxes, before the beginning and in the course of voting and at counting of votes at polling station, at determination of the election results in the district/constituency/ and velayat and summing-up overall results.

3. International and national observers, representatives of mass media shall have right to be present at sessions of election committees, at the moment of sealing ballot-boxes, before the beginning and in the course of voting and at counting of votes at polling stattion, at determination of the election results in the district/constituency/ and velayat and summing-up overall results.

4. The powers of the specified representatives must be certified by the appropriate documents. Preliminary notification of respective election committees of the representatives’ intention to attend the room for voting /at polling station/ on the day of elections, or at the meeting of election committees shall not be required.

5. Mass media shall widely cover the progress of preparation and holding of elections. The election committees, state and public organs shall present information on the issues of preparation and holding of elections.

Article 24. Ensuring conditions for the operation of election committees

State and public organs, officials shall be obliged to assist the election committees in discharge of their powers, provide them, in accordance with the established procedure, with premises, equipment, transport, information and materials required for their work, consider the questions raised by the election committee and provide answers to them not later than within a three-day period.

Article 25. Appeal of decisions of election committees

Decisions and actions of the election committees can be appealed in accordance with the established procedure by the candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan and their fiduciaries, as well as electors in the superior election committee or in court.

Chapter IV. Electoral registers

Article 26. Electoral register and the procedure for its compilation

1. Electoral register shall be complied for each precinct and signed by the chairman and secretary of the district election committee. Election committee of the precinct may engage public representatives in the work on compilation of electoral register.

2. Organs of local executive authorities and local self-government shall ensure accounting of the electors and forward to the precinct election committees information on the electors residing in respective territories required for compilation of electoral register.

3. Electoral registers for the armed forces personnel staying in military units, as well as their family members and other electors if they reside in the areas of location of military units, shall be complied on the basis of data produced by the commanders of military units. Armed forces personnel residing outside the military units shall be included in the electoral register by place of residence on general grounds.

4. Electoral register for those in sanatoriums, holiday homes and in-patient health facilities shall be compiled on the basis of data produced by the heads of these institutions.

5. The electors’ family names on the electoral register shall be indicated in the order suitable for organization of voting.

Article 27. Procedure for the inclusion of citizens in the electoral register

1. Included in the electoral register shall be all citizens of Turkmenistan who, by the date of elections, have attained to the age of 18 years, residing by the time of compilation of the register in the territory of the given polling station and eligible to participate in voting.

2. The elector may be inscribed on the register in one precinct only.

Article 28. Familiarization of citizens with the electoral register and the right to appeal against irregularities in the electoral register

1. Electoral registers shall be produced for general familiarization not later than 10 days before the elections, and for polling stations organized in sanatoriums, holiday homes and in-patient health facilities not later than two days before the elections.

2. Citizens shall be ensured the possibility to get familiarized with the electoral register and check the correctness of its compilation in the room for sitting of the election committee of the precinct.

3. Each citizen shall have right to appeal against non-inclusion, faulty/wrongful inclusion in or expungement from the register, as well as errors made therein regarding inaccuracy in the indication of data about the voter. Statements/applications of irregularities in the register shall be examined by the precinct election committee, which shall be obliged, not later than in two days period, and on the eve and the day of election immediately, examine the statement, make all necessary corrections in the register, or produce a motivated decision of dismissal of statement and give the copy of it out to the applicant.

Section V. Nomination and registration of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan

Article 29. Nomination of presidential contenders in Turkmenistan

1. Nomination of presidential contenders in Turkmenistan shall be completed 30 days before the election.

2.The contender eligible for nomination and election for the office of the President of Turkmenistan shall be the citizen of Turkmenistan, born in Turkmenistan, not younger than forty years old and not older than seventy years, fluent in state/official language, permanently residing for the previous 15 years in Turkmenistan and working in state structure, public organization or in any sector of national economy and having gained high prestige and recognized deserving to be elected, and nominated by Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan.

Article 30. Procedure for nomination of presidential contenders in Turkmenistan

1. The right to put forward a proposal of candidatures for the office of the President of Turkmenistan at the meeting of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan shall be possessed by the Chairman of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan, the President of Turkmenistan, Medjlis of Turkmenistan, Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, public associations being a part of National movement "Galkynysh", delegations of velayats and the city of Ashgabat participating in the meeting of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan. The member of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan shall have right to offer for discussion his own candidature for the office of the President of Turkmenistan.

2. At the meeting of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan unlimited number of nominee candidates shall be discussed.  Each participant of the Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan meeting shall have right to participate in the discussion, support or reject the candidatures.

3. A number of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan may be nominated at the meting of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan for participation in the election process.

4. The candidate for the Presidency of Turkmenistan shall be considered nominated if more than two thirds of members of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan voted for him.

5. The decision of nomination shall be taken by open or secret ballot. Voting procedure and other issues shall be decided by the participating members of the Khalk Maslakhaty meeting.

6. The Khalk Maslakhaty Resolution on nomination of presidential candidates shall be adopted, which, in a two day period, but not later than on the next working day following expiration of term of nomination, shall be communicated to Centrizbircom.

Article 31. Registration of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan

1. Registration of nominated presidential contenders shall be executed by Centrizbircom. Registration shall end 25 days before the date of elections.

2. The decision of registration of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan shall be taken if the appropriate resolution of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan and the statements of nominated candidates of their consent to stand for in the elections are available.

3. Centrizbircom shall draw up a report of registration of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan, which together with the candidates’ statements of heir consent to stand for in the election shall be kept in Centrizbircom.

4. Each registered candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan shall be issued a corresponding certificate.

5. A person nominated a candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan and being a member of one of the election committees shall be considered dispensed from duties in the committee since the moment of his registration as a candidate.

6. Centrizbircom shall, not later than on the fourth day following registration of candidates in the process of the presidential elections in Turkmenistan, publish in press a communication on registration with indication of family names, names, patronymics, year of birth and birthplace, place of work, position held (activity) and place of residence of each candidate.

Article 32. Reversal of the decision of nomination of candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan. Withdrawal of candidature by a candidate

1. Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan shall have right, anytime before the election, to reverse its decision of nomination of a candidate for the Presidency of Turkmenistan. The decision on this subject shall be taken in accordance with the procedure established for nomination of candidates and submitted to Centrizbircom.

2. In process of nomination of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan the candidates shall be able anytime before the elections to withdraw their candidatures by filing written application thereof to Centrizbircom.

3. Election committee shall inform the electors of reversal of its decision of nomination of presidential candidate or withdrawal of his candidature.

Article 33. Ballot paper

1. The ballot paper shall include in an alphabetical order all registered candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan, with indication of family names, names, patronymics, position held (activity), place of work and residence of each candidate. Ballot papers shall be printed in the official/state language.

2. Ballot papers shall be delivered to the polling stations not later than three days before the date of elections.

Section VI. Guarantees of activity of candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan

Article 34. The rights of presidential contenders in Turkmenistan

1. Candidates for the office of the President of Turkmenistan from the time of their registration by Centrizbircom shall have right to make speeches at the pre-election meetings, conferences, appear on television, in press, give  talks on the radio.

2. State and public bodies, heads of enterprises, institutions and organizations, organs of local executive authorities and local self-government shall be obliged to render the candidates assistance in organization of meetings with the electors, provision with necessary reference and information materials.

3. The use by a presidential candidate of his official position for conduction of election campaign shall not be allowed.

4. Candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan upon his registration may be dispensed from his work duties or official responsibilities for the period of holding meetings with the electors, making speeches at the pre-election meetings, appearances on television and in press, giving talks on the radio, with reservation of average wage on account of funds allocated for holding elections.

5. The candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan during the period of elections may not be subject to institution of criminal proceedings against him, arrested or in any other manner deprived of liberty without consent of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan.

Article 35. Fiduciaries of presidential contenders in Turkmenistan

1. The candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan in each electoral district may have up to three fiduciaries, who shall assist him in conducting election campaign and agitation for electing him the President of Turkmenistan, present his interests in relations with state and public bodies, electors, as well as in the election committees.

2. Presidential candidate in Turkmenistan shall, upon his registration, determine his fiduciaries at his own discretion and report thereof for registration with the district election committee. The election committee shall, upon registration of the fiduciaries, issue certificates to them. The candidate shall have the right anytime before the elections to change the fiduciaries.

3. Fiduciary shall not be able to be the member of a respective election committee. The powers of the fiduciaries shall expire upon recognition of powers of the elected President of Turkmenistan.

Article 36. Election campaign

1. Political parties, public associations, groups of citizens of Turkmenistan shall be given right to freely campaign/agitate for the candidates after their nomination. Bodies of local executive authorities and local self-government shall provide them with the premises equipped for the meetings, as well as the possibility of using mass media for conducting the election campaign.

2. All citizens, political parties, public associations of Turkmenistan shall be guaranteed a possibility of free and comprehensive discussion of political, business and personal merits of the candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan, as well as the right to agitate for or against the candidate at meetings, in press, on television and radio.

3. The candidates shall meet with their electors both at meetings and in other environments suitable for the electors. Meetings of electors shall be organized by the election committees jointly with the bodies of local executive authorities and local self-government.

4. The electors shall be informed of the time and place of meetings in advance.

5. Campaigning/agitation on the day of election shall not be allowed.

Section VII. Procedure for voting and summing-up the results of presidential elections in Turkmenistan

Article 37. Time and place of voting

1. The time of voting during the elections of the President of Turkmenistan shall be fixed by Centrizbircom. The electors shall be notified of the time and place of voting by the election committee of the precinct/area/ not later than ten days before the elections.

2. Election committee of the precinct shall be able to announce voting finished anytime if all electors on the register have voted at the polling station, and proceed with counting of votes ahead of time fixed by Centrizbircom for the completion of voting.

Article 38. Organization of voting

1. Voting shall be conducted in the specially assigned premises, with adequate number of polling booths or rooms provided, locations for issue of ballot papers defined and ballot boxes installed so that the voters, when approaching thereof, necessarily pass through the polling booths or rooms for secret voting.

2. Responsibility for organization of voting, ensuring the confidentiality of the electors’ declaration of will, equipment of premises and maintenance of the required order therein shall be born by the election committee of the precinct.

3. On the day of elections prior to the beginning of voting ballot boxes shall be checked, sealed up by a chairman of the election committee of the precinct in the presence of its members.

4. Each elector shall vote personally, voting for other persons shall not be allowed. Ballot papers shall be issued by the election committee of the precinct on the basis of electoral register of the precinct upon producing of passport or other identification document. The fact of issuance of ballot paper shall be ticked off in the electoral register.

5. In cases where individual electors are unable, by reason of medical condition or other reasons, to appear in the premises for voting, the election committee of the precinct shall, upon request thereof, commit individual committee members with organization of voting at the place of stay of these electors.

Article 39. Holding of voting

1. Ballot paper shall be filled out by the voter in the polling booth or room for secret ballot. When filling out the ballot paper the presence of any person other than the voter shall be forbidden. The elector who is unable to fill out the ballot paper himself shall have right to invite to the polling booth or room other person at his own discretion, except for the members of the election committee, representatives of political parties, public associations, meetings of the electors, state authority, mass media, fiduciaries of the candidate, international and national observers.

2. At the time of the elections of the President of Turkmenistan the voter shall delete in the ballot paper the names of candidates against whom he/she votes. The voter shall drop the filled out ballot paper in the ballot box.

Article 40. Procedure for voting of electors unavailable by place of residence on the day of elections

1. The elector who is unable to be available at place of residence on the day of elections (departure for a business trip, vacation, referral to health institution) shall have right to forward in advance his declaration of will in respect of the standing presidential candidates to the election committee of the precinct.

2. The elector from the moment of presentation of electoral register for general familiarization shall be able to receive at the polling station a form for accounting of opinion of the elector who on the day of elections is unavailable at his/her place of residence, or a ballot paper if the ballot papers are already available at the polling station. The form for accounting opinion of the elector or the ballot paper shall be issued to the elector on the basis of the electoral register upon producing passport or other identification document, of which the elector shall put his/her signature in the electoral register.

3. In conditions excluding supervision over the elector’s declaration of will, he/she shall delete in the form or ballot paper the names of candidates against whom he/she votes.

4. Filled out form or ballot paper shall be dropped in the ballot box for voting of the electors unavailable on the day of elections at their place of residence. Such box shall be sealed up in advance in the presence of members of the election committee of the precinct. On the day of elections prior to the beginning of voting all unused forms for accounting of opinion of the elector shall be counted and cancelled/franked?liquidated?/ by the election committee of the precinct.

Article 41. Counting of votes at polling stations

1. Counting of votes at the polling station shall be made for each candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan separately.

2. The ballot boxes including for voting of the electors unavailable on the day of elections, shall be opened by the election committee of the precinct after the announcement by a chairman of the committee of completion of voting. Opening of ballot boxes before completion of voting shall be forbidden. Before opening the ballot boxes all unused ballot papers shall be counted and cancelled/franked?liquidated?/ by the election committee of the precinct.  

3. The election committee of the precinct shall, based on the electoral register, define total number of the electors in the precinct/area/, as well as the number of electors who received ballot papers and the forms for accounting of the opinion of the electors. On the basis of ballot papers and the forms found in the ballot boxes the committee shall determine: total number of the electors who participated in voting; the number of votes given for and against each candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan; the number of votes given against all candidates; the number of ballot papers and forms admitted void. The votes given in respect of persons whose names were additionally put by the voters on the ballot papers or forms shall not be counted. The ballot paper or form for accounting of the opinion of the elector who was unavailable at the polling station, in which the vote is given for a candidate who dropped out before the day of elections, shall not be counted.

4. Ballot papers and forms of an unascertained pattern shall be admitted void. Should doubts be cast upon the validity of the ballot paper or form, the issue shall be decided by the election committee of the precinct by voting. If more than one name is left undeleted in the ballot paper or form for accounting of the opinion of the absent elector, such ballot paper and form shall not be accounted.

5. The results of counting of votes shall be contemplated /scrutinized at the meeting of the election committee of the precinct and entered in the report/protocol. The report shall be signed by the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and members of the committee and immediately sent to the district/constituency/ election committee in accordance with the procedure established by Centrizbircom. Attached to the report shall be individual opinions of the committee members, statements and complaints received by the committee about violations committed in the course of voting or counting of votes.

Article 42. Ascertainment of the election results in the constituency/electoral district

1. On the basis of reports from election committees of the precinct the district election committee shall ascertain: total number of electors who received ballot papers and forms for accounting of the opinion of the electors unavailable on the day of elections; the number of electors who participated in voting; the number of votes given for and against each candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan; the number of votes given against all candidates; the number of ballot papers or forms admitted void.

2. Elected for the office of the President of Turkmenistan shall be the candidate who won more than half of votes of electors who participated in voting at the elections.

3. Elections in precicnt or district shall be admitted void if less than half of the electors put on the register took part in voting.

4. The district election committee shall be able to admit the elections in the precinct or district void due to violations of this Law committed in the course of elections or counting of votes.

5. The results of elections in the electoral district shall be ascertained at the meeting of the district election committee and entered in the report/protocol. The report shall be signed by the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and members of the committee and sent to the velayat, Ashgabat city election committees for generalization of the results of voting in velayat and the city of Ashgabat, followed by subsequent transmittal of the reports of district election committees to Centrizbircom in accordance with the procedure established thereof.

Article 43. Registration of the elected President of Turkmenistan

Centrizbircom shall, on the basis of the reports/protocols of the district election committees register the elected President of Turkmenistan.

Article 44. Publication of results of presidential elections in Turkmenistan

Comminication of the election results and the elected President of Turkmenistan shall be published by Centrizbirkom in press not later than within a ten day period. The message shall contain: total number of citizens put on the electoral register; number of electors who took part in voting; number of votes given for and against each candidate; number of votes given against all candidates; number of void ballot papers and forms; family name, name, patronymic, position held (activity), place of work and residence of the elected President of Turkmenistan.

Article 45. Recognition of powers of the elected President of Turkmenistan

The issue of recognition of powers of the elected President of Turkmenistan shall be considered at the meeting of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan.

Article 46. Procedure for assumption of office of the President of Turkmenistan

1. After the announcement by the Chairman of Centrizbircom of the results of voting the newly elected President of Turkmenistan shall assume the office immediately upon adjuration at the meeting of Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan.

2. The term of office of the President of Turkmenistan shall begin from the moment of adjuration and terminate from the moment of assumption of office by newly elected President of Turkmenistan.

Section VIII. Repeated voting, repeated election

Article 47. Repeated voting

1. If more than three candidates for the office the President of Turkmenistan stood for the election and none of them was elected, Centrizbircom shall take a decision of holding  repeated voting for two candidates who won the majority vote. Repeated voting in the electoral district shall be held not later than within two week period with observance of requirements of this Law.

2. Elected candidate for the office of the President of Turkmenistan shall be the one who in the repeated voting won the majority vote of the electors participating in voting relative to the other candidate.

3. In the event of drop out by any reason of one of the candidates, repeated voting shall be held for one remaining candidate. He shall be considered elected if winning more than half of votes of the electors who participated in voting.

Article 48. Repeated election

1. If three and more candidates stood for the office of the President of Turkmenistan in the elections, and none of them was elected, or elections were admitted void, or the repeated voting was not conducive to ascertainment of the candidate elected the President of Turkmenistan, Khalk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan shall take a decision and commission Centrizbircom with holding repeated election.

2. Repeated elections shall be held not later than in two month period following general elections. Nomination, registration of candidates and other activities shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure established by this Law. The candidates who were not elected in general elections shall not have right to stand for in repeated elections. The electors shall be informed of holding repeated elections.

Article 49. Procedure for enactment of this Law

This Law shall enter into force from the moment of its signature.

Acting President of Turkmenistan

Vice-chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan

G.BERDYMUHAMMEDOV

Ashhabad

December 26, 2006