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22:52 16-12-2017
АКИpress CA-News Tazabek Turmush
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Turkmenistan transforms its Council of Elders into People's Council
Central Asia | politics | 12:24, 11 October 2017 | 624
Image: AFP

AKIPRESS.COM - President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov told a session of the Council of Elders on October 9 that it will be transformed into the People's Council, state media reports say.

Berdymuhamedov said the change would enable citizens of different ages and from different social strata to get involved in policy-making, Radio Freedom reported.

The Council of Elders makes decisions by a simple majority of votes in an open ballot and operates separately from Turkmenistan's parliament -- the Mejilis.

It meets when Gurbanguly wants it to, but at least once a year, rotating among Turkmenistan's regions and the capital, Ashgabat.

The decisions of Council of Elders are officially considered advisory, but it is often used by the president to create the impression of support for proposals that later end up becoming law.

In 2016, the council approved draft amendments to Turkmenistan’s Constitution that abolished age restrictions for presidential candidates. The amendments were later passed by lawmakers, allowing Berdymuhamedov to seek to remain president for life.

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