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Niyazov Promises Elections

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Turkmen president called for compatriots to be proud of their state and to live according to the law

During January 22, 2003 enlarged session of the Cabinet of Ministers the Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov again returned to the issue on succession of power and forthcoming presidential elections. November 25 assassination on the president Niyazov has served as a theme for such conversation. "We should take lessons from this event, Turkmenbashi said. No matter who is heading the state, if the policy is changed people will live in misery.

We have a perfect state. Probably, among heads there are those who dislikes me, it is your business, but for past years of independent development bases of the Turkmen state are incorporated, and no-one will endure any threat to collapse of the state. Therefore, laws should work, it is necessary to teach the people to obey the law. We shall continue policy of strengthening secular, lawful state".

According to the president, recently much is done for legislative protection of the state foundations. Thus, questions connected with the forthcoming presidential elections became actual. In particular, it is suggested to make amendments to the Constitution, according to which citizen of Turkmenistan at age of 40 and not older than 70 years, living in Turkmenistan for last 10 years and recognized by the National Council as the candidate for the post of the president may become president of Turkmenistan.

"It is also necessary as well to amend regulations of National Council, Niyazov said. It is necessary to reflect in it the increased role of National Council. The amended constitution and regulations should be published in the press. Having touched a question on the future candidates for presidential post, Niyazov said, addressing to heads of regions: "Learn from senior comrades, follow them, adopt experience.

And the most important - try to gain respect of people. National Council will each year approve 3-5 nominees on the post of the president. Either ministers, or my assistants, or khiakims of velayets must be included in this list. And on a will of Allah, in 2008-10 we will surely carry out presidential elections. It does not mean, that I will leave the power, I will be a member of National Council. You, young people, should come to take our places. Niyazov called each Turkmen to be proud of the state. As he said " there is no such state worldwide, a state which spends all its reserves for improving well-being of people ".

By Igor Solovyev