The results of the presidential elections in Turkmenistan: the continuity of the course maintained

Presidential elections took place in Turkmenistan. The victory of the incumbent president as the main favorite of the election campaign was a foregone conclusion, and therefore the election itself could not be called a strength test of the political regime.

Some intrigue was in the figures with which the Turkmen officials and voters woulexpressed support for the G. Berdymuhamedov. In many countries the outcome of the election is not only a barometer of the sentiments of the population, but also the those of the authorities. After Niyazov's death in December 2006 and the election of Mr. Berdymukhamedov as the new president of the country ten years ago, in February 2007, and the last presidential election with about 98% support rate confirm that his leadership is still strong.

For a variety of internal development parameters, Turkmenistan raises questions from the West that wants to see a more rapid pace of democratization and market reforms. Like many post-Soviet countries, Turkmenistan has not escaped criticism in the field of human rights protection. This criticism is often joined by civil society activists and journalists from post-Soviet countries, where there is a greater openness of the economy and society. While everyone understands that changes in Turkmenistan will take be taking place rather slowly, and the country will have to choose and follow their own way in this direction, which will be most appropriate to the interests and characteristics of the national and political culture.

At the same time, it should be noted that the political realities in Turkmenistan have never been an obstacle to the establishment of close relations with Ashgabat as a reliable and responsible supplier of energy resources. In this regard, there are continued attempts to involve the republic in the energy transportation projects to the world market, meeting the interests of geopolitical players in the region.

For Kazakhstan, as a neighbor of Turkmenistan, it is important, first of all, that the Ashgabat policy remain predictable and consistent with the policy of developing friendly and good-neighborly relations between our countries. Since coming to power of G. Berdymukhamedov in Turkmenistan, an additional impetus to bilateral cooperation in the sphere of trade and economic relations was given, especially in areas such as transport and energy. The partnership between the two countries should promote bilateral and multilateral dialogue on various aspects of cooperation between the Caspian countries on the Caspian Sea.

As of today, the bilateral agenda is to advance the opening of the existing, yet poorly used, potential for the expansion of cooperation areas. Re-election of Mr. Berdymukhamedov for the next presidential term ensures the continuity of the country's foreign policy, and it is the most important thing for us at the moment.

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