SCO's Secretary-General Rashid Alimov met with Chair of Turkmenistan's Central Commission for Holding Elections and Referendums Gulmurad Muradov on 11 February 2017 in Ashgabat.
Taking part in the meeting were also members of the SCO Observer Mission, including representatives of legislative, executive and election bodies of SCO member states, as well as members of the SCO Secretariat.
During the meeting, Gulmurad Muradov briefed the participants on efforts undertaken by the Central Election Commission under the plan to prepare and hold the presidential election in Turkmenistan. "For the first time, three parties nominated their candidates to run in the election: the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Agrarian Party," he said, adding that another six candidates were nominated by groups of citizens. Mr Muradov noted that 2,587 polling stations will operate on election day, including 39 stations located abroad, and 3.5 million people are expected to take part in the election.
"The SCO Observer Mission is conducting a detailed analysis of the country's election law. Amendments that were made to it have brought the regulations in line with the generally accepted international norms of democratic elections and provide a solid legal foundation for ensuring that people can express their will in a free and transparent manner," the SCO Secretary-General said.
The head of the SCO Observer Mission praised the efforts undertaken by Turkmenistan's Central Election Commission in various areas, and noted its high professionalism, quality of information materials and extensive media coverage on the election.
The presidential election will take place in Turkmenistan on 12 February 2017. The SCO Observer Mission will hold a news conference on 13 February 2017 to make a statement on the outcomes of its monitoring of preparations for and holding of the presidential election.