Turkmenistan drafts new edition of Constitution

By Laman Sadigova

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has instructed the country’s Parliament to draft a new edition of Constitution by May 2016 and to submit it to the Council of Elders for consideration and approval.

The president said the Parliament should continue the work on improving the country’s legislation.

"We need to pay a special attention to drafting of new laws, which serve to further strengthening of legal and economic foundations of the state, based on the democratic values of our nation," the president noted.

Earlier, a meeting of the Constitutional Commission was held under the chairmanship of President. The large-scale work was held to collect, analyze and summarize the proposals on the improvement of the Constitution that were received from activists of public organisations, citizens, specialists in different sectors and experts, Turkmen media reported.

Particularly, the proposals concern such important issues as the implementation of the science and technology policy of the Turkmen state and international cooperation in this field, the further development of a multiparty system and equality of public associations before the law and strengthening of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of thought and expression.

It was proposed to include the provision on extending the term of office of the President of Turkmenistan from five to seven years in the draft Constitution (Article 52) with a view to ensure the successful implementation of ambitious long-term programs.

Meeting participants also considered the possibility of introducing the post of Plenipotentiary Representative for Human Rights. The priority objectives of the constitutional reform also include the necessity to improve its Section III that provides the constitutional legal framework for the system of state power and government of Turkmenistan and specifies the authorities, rights and duties of the President of Turkmenistan, the Cabinet of Ministers, the judiciary and local authorities.

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