Turkmenistan has a presidential system of government where the president assumes the roles of the Head of State as well as the Head of Government. Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union for 69 years until the declaration of its independence occurred in 1991. The People’s Council approved the implementation of a new constitution in September 2008 which led to the creation of different political parties.
Executive power in the country is vested in the president who is Turkmenistan’s highest official. He serves as the guarantor of the nation’s independence, territorial integrity, adherence to the constitution and international pacts, and the country’s neutrality status. He ensures the government branches are functioning smoothly. He retains the power to appoint or dismiss diplomatic representatives including ambassadors to foreign countries and international organizations. Every year, the Turkmen president addresses a legislative session where he touches on significant concerns of domestic and foreign policy. He decides on referendum dates as per the decision of the legislature. In his capacity as the supreme commander of the Armed forces, the President appoints the high officials of the forces. The president retains the right to grant amnesties and pardons as well as confer honors. He determines the issues which qualify one to gain citizenship of Turkmenistan and also the factors for leaving it.
The 2008 Constitution of Turkmenistan created a unicameral parliament known as the Mejlis. 125 members seat in the assembly for five-year terms representing constituencies. The assembly is the legal-making institution in Turkmenistan, and also enacts amendments and oversees implementation. It reviews the program activities presented by the Cabinet for approval and also considers questions arising in the adoption of the state budget. The Assembly considers whether or not to hold referendums. The assembly declares the election of several top officials including the president, municipal representative’s bodies, deputies of the Mejlis, and the Gengeshes. It honors the president with state decorations, distinctions, and military ranks. The assembly has the power to either ratify or reject national treaties, and it considers issues related to security and peace. The country’s legislature decides on the conformity or divergence from the national constitution.
The judicial system of Turkmenistan is made up of the Supreme Court and six provincial courts in addition to 61 district and city courts. Disputes between ministries and businesses are heard in the supreme economic court. Military courts in Turkmenistan were abolished in 1997, and civilian courts now give audience to disputes in the armed forces. The President has the power to appoint judges, and it is only the chairman of the Supreme Court who is confirmed by the legislature.
AdministrationThe nation is made up of five regions (welayatlar) namely Mary, Balkan, Lebap, Ahal, and Dashoguz. Under the provinces are 50 districts which are then divided into towns, villages, rural councils, and rural settlements. Turkmenistan’s capital city is Ashgabat which serves as both a territorial and administrative unit. The city is home to 6 districts and has province-wide powers. The capital’s districts are Abadan, Bagtyyarlyk, Rukhabat, Archabil, Kopetdag, and Berkararlyk. Regional heads are appointed by the president.