General Election Turkmenbaijan 2017
Atam Durayew: Ladies and gentlemen welcome back to this live broadcast of the elections which are hold today. Since 10 minutes all polling stations are closed and the counting of the votes have been started. We do expect the first results in the course of this evening and we will be ofcourse the first to announce you those. We can tell as well that this electionsday is one without any big incidents due to the big military and police presence. Mr. Khampayew, the polling stations are closed. In attendance of the results... What are you hoping for Turkmenbaijan?
Ilman Khampayew: I sincerely hope that Turkmenbaijan crawls out of this isolationism we lived since 2001. That we move on and become a true modern nation with strong international ties. I mean real international ties. Not the superficial ones we do have now because they doesn't mean anything. And that we become conscious as a people that we are able to decide for ourselves without depending on dictates without transparancy or the risk that you might be persecuted if you oppose.
Atam Durayew: Eylül? What about you?
Eylül Dericyewa: I do hope the same thing. I really do. But we are only 2 persons on the more than 7 million Turkmenbaijanis. We are not a reflection of the society so for me I will be very carefully about predictions or to pre-empt the facts. We do have here a very closed political system: indirect presidential elections, a very strong party with a clear majority at least until today and campaigning does not exist so apart of this elections I think maybe it is good that the whole system will be reformed.
Ilman Khampayew: It is interesting what you say here Eylül. I do agree on the fact that maybe we do have to reform the whole system as a system in itselfs. But indirect presidential elections are not that bad as the president, whom become independent after his or her election, his or her policies are reflected by the National Congress. That means coherence. And that is what this nation needs in politics.
Eylül Dericyewa: maybe...
Atam Durayew: Now you've mentioned the presidency mr. Khampayew, Turkmenbaijan has known since 1 January of this year 4 presidents. What figure do we have in the Union for example because of this?
Ilman Khampayew: Not a good one. Simple not a good one. We are seen as an unstable country on both political and internal life.
Atam Durayew: You mean the tensions between ethnic Turkmenbaijanis and Kyrzbeks?
Ilman Khampayew: Yes I do. And the thing is that only 2 or 3 parties which are taking part at the elections today have a real point on this issue. The Communist Party and the Democratic Party wants to increase the rights of the Kyrzbek people, the Kyrzbek Minority Party which is a part of the Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance aim equal rights and the Republican Party of Turkmenbaijan wants to establish a Federal Turkmenbaijani-Kyrzbek Republic.
Atam Durayew: Mikhayel Sarabov is still in Arkhamnamabad for us. Mikhayel, everything okay over there?
Mikhayel Sarabov: Yes, thank you Atam. The sun is shining, there is a good climate and it looks like the people here are really confident about their vote. As you've mentioned the presence of military, specific the British and Gallambrian armed troops has paid off. No big incidents and everything proceeds very smoothly.
Atam Durayew: Thank you Mikhayel. Eren Burdak is in Äz Monzor since this morning, Eren, in Arkhamnamabad we do here confident sounds. How about Äz Monzor?
Eren Burdak: Same over here. The people are confident, no big incidents. Only this afternoon around 15 o'clock 3 persons were arrested because they were identified as suspicious. They were hanging around the polling station in downtown Äz Monzor and tried to enter again via the backdoors after they brought out already their votes but besides of that nothing really happened. People are really looking forward to the first results.
Atam Durayew: Okay, you will stay there for the announcements of the results later this evening. Thank you Eren. We are back in a moment.
Atam Durayew: Goodevening and welcome back to the live broadcast of the general elections in Turkmenbaijan. We've just been reported that the counting is finished in the Ýylyznamabad Territory. In that territory 5 of the 103 seats are winnable and following the rumours 3 seats are going to the Communist Party and 2 seats to the Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance of Asuman Baknezarayowa and the Kyrzbek Minority Party. Other results are not known but it is waiting for a confirmation of this results. Eylül, mr. Khampayew... 3 seats to the Communist Party and 2 to the ABT. Any explenation?
Eylül Dericyewa: If this is correct because you have mentioned it, it is just a rumour, it is exactly the same result as in March of this year. The communists booked good results in the Ýylyznamabad Province because it is a subordinated area, high poverty rate, unemployment, displeasure at the SDH... The two seats for the ABT is no surprise as the Kyrzbek area is in the Ýylyznamabad Province. Despite of the riots, protests, demonstrations etcetera the Kyrzbeks did vote for the Alliance of Baknezarayowa, the Kyrzbek Minority Party and the Citizen's Platform.
Ilman Khampayew: It is a constance of last elections in March indeed. 3 seats to the Communists and 2 for the, let us be honest, the Kyrzbek Minority Party and not the so-called Alliance. Is this a reflection of the rest of the seats which are not distributed yet? I don't think so. 5 seats for the Ýylyznamabad Province okay... The Arkhamnamabad Territory has 60 seats, the Äz Monzor Province 35... Everything is possible and the evening is still young.
Atam Durayew: It is waiting for confirmations of the results and meanwhile we will have a look how the international world and more specific how the European Union is looking to this elections. Türkman Ulyamanev, Good evening. You are living in London, the United Kingdom. How does the UK follows the elections here?
Türkman Ulyamanev: The elections are not really mentioned in the daily news but we know that British armed forces are present in Turkmenbaijan to guarantee the safety and the transparancy of the elections. I think everybody is waiting until the results are announced and maybe that's the best for the moment.
Atam Durayew: Okay Türkman, thank you! Enjoy your evening. Mr. Khampayew, you follow the politics for many years now and you are professor at the Ügyür State University in Arkhamnamabad. The fact that there, we can say for the moment, are no reactions on the elections here is an evidence of lack of interest of other member-states in our country?
Ilman Khampayew: It is possible yes but I don't think so. IN fact you hear only one sound in the other member states: when will it change in Turkmenbaijan? And they are waiting.
Atam Durayew: Eylül?
Eylül Dericyewa: They wait indeed. You do have agreements but they are very very few and very superficial. Turkmenbaijan asked several times to Australia to deepen their relations and the only response was a closed border. Auben stated that it does not want to have a deep dialogue before Turkmenbaijan will abolish their policies. Understand by that, and I'm sorry to say this, the Social Democratic Movement.
Atam Durayew: What if SDH receives a new and clear mandate of the people? Now they do have 48 seats in the National Congress. You can't just deny them?
Ilman Khampayew: If SDH receives a new and clear mandate, if and I really say if, than the isolation of Turkmenbaijan continues because nobody want to work together with us. And than a Turxit of the Union is possible or inevitable... But now we are pre-empting on the facts.
Eylül Dericyewa: I think that is the last thing what our people wants... It is heavy if you think about it like this.
Ilman Khampayew: It is yes...
Atam Durayew: Thank you both. So we know that the counting is finished in the Ýylyznamabad Territory. 5 seats are already won, 3 for the Communist Party and 2 for the Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance, but this has to be confirmed. We are back in a minute, thank you.
Atam Durayew: Goodevening and welcome back to this live broadcast of the elections in Turkmenbaijan today. Since this morning we are reporting the evolution of the votings in different cities and we've discussed already with mr. Ilman Khampayew, professor political science at the Ügyür State University in Arkhamnamabad and mrs. Eylül Dericyewa, head of politics of the RTT redaction. A few hours ago we have been reported that the results were in from the Ýylyznamabad Territory, good for 5 of the 103 seats in the National Congress. Those results are confirmed by the parliamentary commision for elections. 3 seats goes to the Communist Party and 2 seats goes to the ABT, Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance. Meanwhile other results are reported to us. The Marý Territory, good for 3 seats and the results are confirmed . All 3 seats goes to the Communist Party.
The results of the Äz Monzor Territory are confirmed as well. 35 winnable seats are ready to be awarded. 15 seats goes to the ABT, Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance of former president Asuman Baknezarayowa, the Kyrzbek Minority Party and the Citizen's Platform. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) receives 11 seats of the winnable seats. 8 seats are for United Turkmenbaijan and only 1 seat for the Social Democratic Movement.
And the results of the Arkhamnamabad Territory where not less than 60 seats are winnable are confirmed too.
30 seats are awarded to the Social Democratic Movement of Nikolay Nikola. Here you can clearly see that in the capital's area the SDH remains the biggest.
19 seats are awarded to United Turkmenbaijan and also here the Communist Party does it well, it receives 7 seats of the 103. Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance and the Liberal Democrats gets both 2 seats in this Territory.
This is a big big surprise. Lets see the new National Congress with the results of this elections.
SDH loses 17 seats compared to last elections in March and 55 seats compared to the elections of 2009, never the less the Social Democratic Movement is the biggest in the National Congress but will it be enough to govern again? Those are questions for tomorrow in our broadcast where we will discuss the results of today. But it is clear that the traditional party, SDH, is increasing and new political movements are rising. Not only in other European nations but also here in Turkmenbaijan.
You can see the awarded seats to each party on the screen. 31 seats for the Social Democratic Movement. 27 seats for United Turkmenbaijan. Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance, 19 seats. The Communist Party is good for 13 seats in the National Congress and 13 seats as well for the Liberal Democratic Party.
With this we conclude this heavy day. We thank ofcourse mr. Ilman Khampayew and mrs. Eylül Dericyewa for their comments during the day and ofcourse you who followed everything here with us. Tomorrow we will discuss the results of this election and have a closer eye on which parties are elected in the National Congress and what the possibilities might be to form a government. Thank you and have a good night.
26 June 2017
To the Citizens and National Congress of Turkmenbaijan,
His Majesty's Government is pleased with the efficiency and freedom that the vote was able to have, thanks to cooperation. We hope that the two largest parties get a chance to form government, giving the most voice to the people of Turkmenbaijan possible. We support and await the process in which a government will be formed, viewing our own Westminster system as a fairly comparable example. We hope to strengthen the bonds between Turkmenbaijan and the United Kingdom, and Turkmenbaijan and the European Union.
The Rt. Hon. Theresa May, MP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
LIVE BROADCAST "ELECTIONS 2017. AND NOW?"
Atam Durayew: Goodmorning ladies and gentlemen. This morning we woke up in a new Turkmenbaijan, this is at least we can say. The Social Democratic Movement has lost not more than 17 seats compared to March this year and 55 seats compared to 2009. New political families are rising and the Communist Party has a solid ground in the Ýylyznamabad Province where they have got 3 of the 5 winnable seats and all winnable seats in the Marý Province. Should we be worried about this? We will discuss all of this during the day with mrs. Rumy Otbanyewa, professor political science and observer of the national politics. Thank you for being with us mrs. Otbanyewa. My question is simple: and now?
Rumy Otbanyewa: Hahaha... Goodmorning, thank you. Yes... and now? I don't know really what to say. This is unbelievable. At least that is the feeling I get when I look to the results. Maybe lets take a look first to the new parties and more specific the winner of this elections. In Turkmenbaijan we don't have a culture of campaigning before the elections to provide neutrality at one side and to let the voters the chance to overthink how they are going to vote without being bombarded by television debates, rallies... etcetera.
Atam Durayew: Who is the winner to you?
Rumy Otbanyewa: There are for me 3 real winners in this elections and I will tell you immediately that it is not Asuman Baknezarayowa. Her alliance with the Citizen's Platform and the Kyrzbek Minority Party won 19 seats indeed but if you look closer you see they have lost. In the elections of March this year Citizen's Platform was the biggest winner: 18 seats. The Kyrzbek Minority Party receives automatically 7 seats and the European Integration Party 2 seats. If we count that means that together, as this alliance, they have 27 seats. They have decided to work together to be stronger against the Social Democratic Movement and they have lost. So for me, let that be clear, Baknezarayowa is not a winner. It is clear that United Turkmenbaijan is the winner with 27 seats for the first time as the LDP too. Never participated but immediately 13 seats. And the Communist Party. They have won 2 provinces. No other party did that. So for me they are winners too but I believe that we don't have to be afraid of them.
Atam Durayew: You've mentioned it: United Turkmenbaijan. Can you tell me who they are and what they really stand for?
Rumy Otbanyewa: Yes. BT or United Turkmenbaijan is like the SDH a social democratic party but not authoritarian. Not to the citizens, they really stand for freedom in education, arts, economy without central planning as the SDH stands for and we can go on like that. United Turkmenbaijan is really a forefighter of a strong European Union and good cooperations with other nations and more specific our biggest neighbour Australia. They are in favor of the euro, open border policies, ... But at the same time they give a sort of continuation of SDH but on a positive way.
Atam Durayew: Are they the reborn Social Democrats?
Rumy Otbanyewa: Yes and no. It is fresh, new, in line with our mentality...
Atam Otbanyewa: Does this elections mean that the SDH is of the set now?
Rumy Otbanyewa: No I don't believe that but I've watched yesterday and what mr. Khampayew said is correct. Everywhere in Europe the traditional parties are increasing and here too but I don't believe SDH is out forever. What they have to do is modernise their party from inside out and than we will see what happens.
Atam Durayew: Will they govern you think?
Rumy Otbanyewa: SDH?
Atam Durayew: Yes.
Rumy Otbanyewa: If we look to the seats... SDH has 31 and their is a possibility that the Communist Party will endorse them so 31 and 13 is 44. I don't believe any other party is ready to govern with the SDH. ABT certainly not, remember the protests and violent joint seatings... So there you miss 19 seats already. Maybe United Turkmenbaijan but that will be political suicide even before you have started to govern as you "stand against" SDH and than govern together.. I don't think so. What I see as one of the possibilities is a coalition of BT, ABT, LDP. Together good for 59 seats of the 103. That is enough for a solid and renewable majority. BT, SDH and KP is also a possibility. They would have a mojority of 71 seats but than you go back and repeat history... An SDH government. We will see; it is up to the elected parties to find a good president and he or she has the duty to make a government so we might be surprised again.
Atam Durayew: Thank you mrs. Otbanyewa. We are back after the break.
PORTRAIT: SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT
In this series we expose the elected parties in the National Congress of Turkmenbaijan. Today the biggest family in the NC: the Social Democratic Movement.
The Social Democratic Movement (Sosial Demokratik Herekati - SDH) was created following the independence of Turkmenbaijan from Turkmenistan as a successor party to the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan. The internal structure of the old party was effectively unchanged in the transition, as was the old guard. The SDH has faced limited and sporadic challenges from alternative political parties in the past but have never faced a significant challenge during an election because of the often repressive nature of politics in the country back than. Opposition parties were usually crushed before they make any significant grounds in public opinion. This has been the case even after the formal legalization of opposition parties in 2016 (general elections of 2016).
Due to the lack of opposition parties to contest for government until march 2017, the SDH controls most, if not all, industries of significant revenue directly. Central planning is a key element of party policy and serves as the basis of functionality for government services. The party's ideology "Turkmen nationalism" was theorized by former party leader, founder and first president of Turkmenbaijan Enver Därwäzä for the purpose of an authoritarian state ideology in Turkmenbaijan.
Turkmenbaijan elects on national level a legislature. The last two Elections (March 2017 and June 2017) in Turkmenbaijan have been widely recognized.
Elections results since 2001: 100%, 2009: 100%, 2016: 80%, March 2017: 47%, June 2017: 31%
Since the indruction of the law which makes oposition possible the Social Democratic Movement knows a downward movement.
PORTRAIT: UNITED TURKMENBAIJAN
In this series we expose the elected parties in the National Congress of Turkmenbaijan. Today the biggest winner: United Turkmenbaijan.
United Turkmenbaijan was founded on 3 April of this year during the political crisis of the AIP-SDH-BUP government of president Baknezarayowa by Kader Gurbuzyewa, head of the department of social affairs of the Aradan district in Arkhamnamabad. BT has a moderated programme, including reform of the welfare state and privatisation of public enterprise. The party includes issues as environmental conservation and Third World development. They consider themselves as center-left. Its core issues are employment, social security and welfare, and investing in public education, public safety and health care.
United Turkmenbaijan participated for the first time on the Elections in June 2017. The have achieved more than 26% of the votes.
United Turkmenbaijan is an outspoken pro-european party.
PORTRAIT: OUR TURKMENBAIJAN ALLIANCE
In this series we expose the elected parties in the National Congress of Turkmenbaijan. Today the trinity of Baknezarayowa: Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance
Our Turkmenbaijan Alliance is a cooperation between the Citizen's Platform of Mily Takayew, the Kyrzbek Minority Party of Gülan Humarakyew and the European Integration Party of former president Asuman Baknezarayowa. They obtained 19 seats in the National Congress. A loss of 8 seats if you know that BUP, KTP and AIP had together 27 seats before the last elections.
ABT is an outspoken pro-European party like most in Turkmenbaijan. They follow a social liberal agenda. Privatization and modernization of the Turkmenbaijani infrastructure and the slimming down of the government are core issues. Because the Kyrzbek Minority Party is a part of this alliance it strives for equality between ethnic Kyrzbeks and ethnic Turkmenbaijanis. However the KTP does not deviate from its single issue: Kyrzbek autonomy/independence.
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PORTRAIT: COMMUNIST PARTY
In this series we expose the elected parties in the National Congress of Turkmenbaijan. Today the stars of the North: the Communist Party.
The Communist Party is the only party which does not have to share seats in 2 of the 4 Turkmenbaijani provinces. All seats of the Marý Province and 3 out of 5 seats of the Ýylyznamabad Province went to the Communist Party of Säher Mubarakyew.
The KP sees herself as lawful successor of the Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR both in ideology and tradition. KP wants a new quality of life, economic modernisation, European integration and consolidation of society. Many scientists in Turkmenbaijan states that the KP is only communist by name and classify the party as center-right. The communist are strongly opposed to an autonomous Kyrzbekistan within the State Turkmenbaijan.
The party is not in favour of further integration in the European Union and is opposed to the euro.
PORTRAIT: LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
The Liberal Democratic Party was founded by Muhamad Ovezmayew after he left the Party of Enterpreneurs and Industrialists, the first legal oposition party of Turkmenbaijan.
According to its statute, the Liberal Demokratik Partýasi is a center-right party with conservative doctrine. The strategic programmatic goal set by this party is the reconstruction and modernization of the State Turkmenbaijan, as well as the establishment of rule-of-law state and efficient market economy. In its program, the LDP aims at becoming the main driver for overcoming economic, social and civilization gaps, which separate Turkmenbaijan from the other European member states.
LDP strives also for same-sex marriage, a softening of the law on naturalisation and the regulation of Turkmenbaijanis living abroad and the introduction of the Euro.