Berdimuhamedov goes for third term in Presidential election
Turkmenistan will hold its presidential election today in what is expected to be a straightforward win for the incumbent president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, despite a worsening economic situation and rationing of some goods in the shops.
This election will be different because the constitution was changed in 2016 to remove term limits and the 70 year-old age limit for presidential candidates, as well as increasing the presidential term in office from five to seven years.
There are nine candidates standing including three nominated by political parties:
1. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov; Democratic Party of Turkmenistan
2. Bekmyrat Atalyev; Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
3. Durdygylycha Orazov; Agrarian Party
4. Maksat Annanepesov
5. Jumanazar Annayev
6. Ramazan Durdyyev
7. Meretdurdy Gurbanov
8. Serdar Jelilov
9. Suleymannepes Nurnepesov
There has been early voting and 2,578 polling stations will open on polling day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time with 39 being based in diplomatic missions overseas. There is no central register but just under 3 million voters are eligible to vote.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is expected to win a third term and in 2012 he won 97.4% of the vote. The Turkmenistan Civic Solidarity Group has condemned the election as not being free or fair.