Turkmenistan to switch over to multi-party system

Turkmenistan to switch over to multi-party system Ashgabat: The elders of Turkmenistan have approved a proposal voiced by Turkmen President, suggesting a transition from one-party to multi-party system, as it was considered to not meet even the most basic standards of democracy.

The elders backed the proposal at an annual meeting of the Elders' Council that opened yesterday. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has instructed the Turkmen parliament to draft a bill on political parties.

Turkmenistan has known only one party in its history as an independent state - the Democratic Party, created after the Communist party dissolved itself in 1991.

The Turkmen presidents were traditionally elected leaders of the Democratic Party which membership was never more than 150,000.

In August 2007, Berdymukhammedov was elected Chairman of the Political Council of the Democratic Party and the Galkynysh national movement that united all the public organizations of Turkmenistan.