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Constitution of Turkmenistan (2008)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4We, the people of Turkmenistan, based on our inalienable right to determine our destiny;

5Proceeding from the responsibility for present and future of the Motherland;

6Expressing loyalty to the covenant of ancestors to live in unity, peace and harmony;

7With the aim of protecting the national values and interests, strengthening the independence, sovereignty, the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan;

8Guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of each person and citizen, and seeking to ensure civil peace and national accord in the society, to substantiate the foundations of democracy and democratic, legal, secular state, we adopt the present Constitution - the Basic Law of Turkmenistan.

9Section I. Fundamentals of the Constitutional System of Turkmenistan

10ARTICLE 1

11Turkmenistan is a democratic, legal and secular state in which the government takes the form of presidential republic.

12Turkmenistan exercises the complete power and complete authority on its territory, and independently conducts the internal and foreign policy. The state sovereignty and territory of Turkmenistan are homogeneous and indivisible.

13The State protects the independence, territorial integrity of Turkmenistan, and constitutional system, and provides law and order.

14Turkmenistan, by law, has the status of permanent neutrality. The United Nations General Assembly resolution "Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan" dated 12 December 1995: "1. Recognizes and supports the declared status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan; 2. Calls upon the member states of the United Nations to respect and support this status of Turkmenistan and also to respect its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity." The permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan, recognized by the world community, is the basis of its domestic and foreign policy.

15ARTICLE 2

16The people are the bearer of and the sole source of the state power in Turkmenistan. The people of Turkmenistan exercise their power directly or through representative bodies.

17No part (group) of the people, organization or individuals, have the right to abrogate the state power.

18ARTICLE 3

19In Turkmenistan, the people are the highest value of the society and the state.

20The state is responsible for every citizen and creates conditions for free development of the individual, protects the life, honour, dignity and freedom, personal integrity, natural and inalienable rights of the citizen.

21Every citizen is responsible before the State for the responsibilities entrusted to him by the Constitution and laws.

22ARTICLE 4

23State power is based on the principle of separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches, which operate independently, balancing each other.

24ARTICLE 5

25The state and all of its organs and officials are linked by law and constitutional order.

26The Constitution of Turkmenistan is the Basic Law of the State. Rules and regulations laid down in it are unswervingly applicable. The laws and other legal acts that contradict the Constitution are null and void.

27The normative-legal acts of the government and administration, and the local self-government, are published for general information or made available through other means, except when they contain state or other secrets protected by law. The normative-legal Acts affecting the rights and freedom of the individual and citizen, if not brought to the general information of the public, are invalid from the time of their adoption.

28ARTICLE 6

29Turkmenistan, being a full subject of the global community, has the foreign policy of permanent neutrality, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, refrains from the use of force and participation in military blocs and alliances, promotes peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations with countries in the region and states of the whole world.

30Turkmenistan recognizes the priority of the universally accepted norms of international law. If an international treaty (contract) of Turkmenistan establishes rules other than those stipulated by the laws of Turkmenistan, the rules of international treaty will apply.

31ARTICLE 7

32Turkmenistan has its own citizenship. The citizenship is acquired, retained and lost in accordance with the law.

33Citizenship of another state is not recognized for the citizens of Turkmenistan.

34No one can be deprived of citizenship or the right to change citizenship. A citizen of Turkmenistan cannot be extradited to another state or expelled from the limits of Turkmenistan, or restricted in the right to return to the homeland.

35The citizens of Turkmenistan are guaranteed the protection and patronage of the state in the territory of Turkmenistan and beyond its borders.

36ARTICLE 8

37Foreign nationals and stateless persons enjoy the rights and freedoms, and bear the responsibilities, of citizens of Turkmenistan in accordance with law and international treaties of Turkmenistan.

38Turkmenistan, in accordance with universally recognized norms of international right and in the order established by the law, gives refuge to foreign citizens and stateless persons.

39ARTICLE 9

40The property is inviolable. Turkmenistan approves the right to private ownership of the means of production, land and other material and intellectual values. They can also belong to the associations of citizens and the state. The law establishes objects that are exclusive property of the state. The state guarantees equal protection and creation of equal conditions for development of all forms of ownership.

41Confiscation of property is prohibited, except for the property acquired by means prohibited by law.

42Forced confiscation of property is permissible only in cases stipulated by law.

43ARTICLE 10

44The economy of Turkmenistan is based on the principles of market relations. The state encourages and supports entrepreneurship, promotes development of small and medium enterprises.

45ARTICLE 11

46The state is responsible for safeguarding the national historical and cultural heritage, natural environment, ensuring equality between social and ethnic communities. The state encourages scientific and artistic creativity and distribution of its positive results, promotes development of international relations in the fields of science, culture, education and training, sports and tourism.

47ARTICLE 12

48The state guarantees freedom of religion and worship, and equality before the law. Religious organizations are separate from the state, cannot interfere in the state affairs and carry out state functions. The public education system is separate from religious organizations and is secular.

49Each person independently determines his attitude toward religion, has the right to, individually or jointly with others, profess any religion or none, to express and disseminate beliefs related to attitude toward religion, to participate in religious observances, rituals, and ceremonies.

50ARTICLE 13

51In order to protect the state sovereignty and security, Turkmenistan has its own armed forces.

52ARTICLE 14

53Turkmen is the state [official] language of Turkmenistan. The use of their native language is guaranteed to all citizens of Turkmenistan.

54ARTICLE 15

55The State Flag, the State Emblem, and the National Anthem are the Symbols of Turkmenistan.

56The flag, national emblem and national anthem are established and protected by law.

57ARTICLE 16

58The administrative-territorial structure of Turkmenistan consists of: Velayats (provinces), cities with right of Velayat, Etraps (districts), cities with right of district, cities (towns) in district, settlements, Gengeshlyk.

59The territory of one or more villages forms a Gengeshlyk.

60ARTICLE 17

61Ashgabat is the capital of Turkmenistan.

62Section II. Rights, Freedoms and Duties of the citizens of Turkmenistan

63ARTICLE 18

64The rights and freedoms of the individual are inviolable and inalienable.

65No one can be deprived of their rights and freedoms, or restrictions on their rights and freedoms, except in accordance with the Constitution and laws.

66The enumeration in the Constitution and laws of certain rights and freedoms can not be used to deny or diminish the rights and freedoms of others.

67ARTICLE 19

68Turkmenistan guarantees the equality of rights and freedoms of individual and citizen, and also the equality of the individual and citizen before the law regardless of their nationality, race, gender, origin, property and official status, place of residence, language, religion, political beliefs, party affiliation or lack of affiliation to any party.

69ARTICLE 20

70Men and Women in Turkmenistan have equal civil rights. Violation of equality on the basis of gender is punishable by law.

71ARTICLE 21

72The exercise of rights and freedoms must not violate the rights and freedoms of others, as well as the requirements of morality, law, public order, [or] cause damage to national security.

73ARTICLE 22

74Each individual has the right to life and liberty and the exercise (of this right). No one can be deprived of the right to life. The right of each person to free life is protected by the state on the basis of law.

75The death penalty has been abolished in Turkmenistan.

76ARTICLE 23

77A person cannot be restrict in or deprived of rights, convicted or punished, except in strict accordance with the law.

78No one can be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, or punishment, and without his consent to medical (medicinal or medical) or other experiments. A person can be arrested by the court or with the approval of the prosecutor only on the grounds precisely specified by the law. In urgent cases, precisely specified by the law, the state authorities have the right to detain the citizens temporarily.

79ARTICLE 24

80Every citizen has the right to support of state in obtaining or acquiring a comfortable living accommodation, and construction of individual housing. The home is inviolable. No one has the right to enter a home or otherwise violate the sanctity of the home against the wishes of people living there without any legal grounds. Protecting the home against unlawful assault (encroachment) is the right of the individual and citizen.

81No one can be deprived of their living accommodation except on the grounds established by law.

82ARTICLE 25

83Everyone has the right to protection from arbitrary interference in their privacy, as well as infringement of the rules of secrecy of correspondence, telephone and other (means of) communication, attacks on their honour and reputation.

84ARTICLE 26

85Every citizen has the right to move freely and choose their place of residence in Turkmenistan.

86Restrictions on entry into separate territories, and movement in those territories, can only be set by law.

87ARTICLE 27

88Men and women having reached the marriageable age have the right, by mutual consent, to marry and create families. Spouses have equal rights in family relations.

89Parents and substitute parents have the right and obligation to raise the children, care for their health, development, education, prepare them for work, and impart to them the culture of respect for the law, historical and national traditions. Adult children are obliged to take care of their parents and to extend help (support) to them.

90ARTICLE 28

91Citizens of Turkmenistan have the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as to receive information if it is not a state or other secret protected by law.

92ARTICLE 29

93Citizens are guaranteed freedom of assembly, rallies and demonstrations in the manner prescribed by law.

94ARTICLE 30

95Citizens have the right to form political parties and other public associations operating within the framework of the Constitution and laws.

96Prohibited is the establishment and activity of political parties, other public, paramilitary associations, aimed at bringing violent change to the constitutional order, introducing violence in their activity, opposing the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, advocating war, racial, national or religious hatred, encroaching on the health and morals of the people, as well as the political parties with ethnic or religious attributes.

97ARTICLE 31

98Every citizen has the right to participate in managing the affairs of the society and state, either directly or through freely elected representatives.

99ARTICLE 32

100Citizens have the right to elect and be elected to the bodies of state authority.

101Citizens of Turkmenistan, in accordance with their abilities and professional training, have equal right to access to public service.

102ARTICLE 33

103Citizens have the right to work, choice of profession at their own discretion, sort of employment and place of work, to safe and healthy working conditions.

104Wage earners are entitled to compensation, appropriate to amount and quality of work. This compensation cannot be less than the subsistence minimum established by the state.

105ARTICLE 34

106Citizens have the right to rest, as expressed in establishment of limits of work week, grant of annual paid holidays, and days of weekly rest.

107The State creates favourable conditions for recreation and use of leisure time.

108ARTICLE 35

109Citizens have the right to healthcare, including free use of the network of public health institutions. Paid medical and non-traditional healthcare is permitted under, and in accordance with, the procedure established by law.

110ARTICLE 36

111Everyone has the right to favourable environment.

112The State supervises the management of natural resources in order to protect and improve living conditions, as well as environmental protection and regeneration.

113ARTICLE 37

114Citizens have the right to social security in old age, sickness, disability, loss of ability to work, loss of breadwinner, unemployment.

115Families with large number of children, orphans, veterans, people who lost their health while protecting the state or public interests, are provided additional support and privileges from state and public funds.

116ARTICLE 38

117Every citizen has the right to education.

118Secondary education is compulsory; everyone is entitled to receive it in public schools free of charge.

119The state ensures availability of vocational education for each person according to their abilities.

120On the basis and in the manner prescribed by the legislation of Turkmenistan, governmental and non-governmental organizations, citizens have the right to engage in paid work activity.

121The State sets educational standards, mandatory for all educational institutions.

122ARTICLE 39

123Citizens of Turkmenistan have the right to freedom of artistic, scientific and technical creativity. All rights (copyrights) and interests of citizens in the area of scientific, technical, creative, artistic, literary and cultural activities are protected by law.

124The State contributes to the development of science, culture, arts, folk arts, sports and tourism.

125ARTICLE 40

126The exercise of the rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance by the individual and citizen their responsibilities toward the society and the state.

127Everyone, living or staying temporarily in the territory of Turkmenistan, is obliged to abide by the Constitution, the laws, and respect the national traditions.

128ARTICLE 41

129Protection of Turkmenistan is the sacred duty of every citizen. General conscription is compulsory for the male citizens of Turkmenistan.

130ARTICLE 42

131Everyone is required to pay state taxes and other payments in the manner and extent established by law.

132ARTICLE 43

133Citizens are guaranteed judicial protection of honour and dignity, personal and political rights and freedoms of individual and citizen [as stipulated] by the Constitution and laws.

134Citizens have the right to appeal in the court against the decisions and actions of the state bodies, public associations and officials.

135ARTICLE 44

136Citizens have the right to seek redress in courts for material and moral damage caused to them by unlawful actions of state bodies, other organizations and their employees, as well as private individuals.

137ARTICLE 45

138A person cannot be compelled to testify and give evidence against self and close relatives.

139Evidence obtained as a result of mental or physical influence, as well as through other illegal methods, has no legal force.

140ARTICLE 46

141A law, aggravating the situation of citizens, shall not be retroactive. No one can be held responsible for actions that, at the time of their commission, were not recognized by law as offence.

142ARTICLE 47

143The implementation of the rights and freedoms of citizens may be suspended only in a state of emergency or martial law in a manner and within the limits established by the Constitution and laws.

144Section III. The System of Government and Administration in Turkmenistan

145CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

146ARTICLE 48

147The highest state authority and government in Turkmenistan is exercised by the President of Turkmenistan, the Mejlis (parliament) of Turkmenistan, the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, and the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan.

148ARTICLE 49

149Local district representatives and executives bodies are the local authority in Velayats, cities with the right of Velayat, districts, and districts with rights of city, and in towns of Etraps, settlements, and the Gengeshlyks the local authority are Gengeshes.

150CHAPTER II. PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN

151ARTICLE 50

152The President of Turkmenistan is the head of the state and executive power, the highest official of Turkmenistan, acting as guarantor of the state independence and the status of neutrality of Turkmenistan, its territorial integrity, respect for the Constitution and fulfillment of international obligations.

153ARTICLE 51

154A citizen of Turkmenistan, born in Turkmenistan, not younger than 45 years and not older than 70 years, who speaks the national language, has been living constantly in Turkmenistan and working in the state bodies, public associations, enterprise, institutions, organizations, for the past 15 years, can be elected as President of Turkmenistan.

155ARTICLE 52

156The President of Turkmenistan is elected directly by the people for a period of five years, and enters office on taking the oath.

157The procedures for electing the President of Turkmenistan and his assumption of office are established by law.

158ARTICLE 53

159The President of Turkmenistan:

1601.Implements the Constitution and laws;

1612.Supervises the execution of foreign policy, represents Turkmenistan in relations with other nations, appoints and dismisses ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of Turkmenistan to foreign countries, with interstate and international organizations, accepts the credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives of foreign countries;

1623.Is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan, orders general or partial mobilization, use of armed forces and their military [readiness] status, appoints the top command of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan.

1634.Forms and presides over the National Security Council of Turkmenistan, the status of which is determined by law;

1645.Approves the programme and basic directions of the political, economic and social development of the country;

1656.Sends for consideration and approval of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan the state budget and reports on performance of the budget;

1667.Signs the laws, is entitled to, no later than two weeks, using the right of suspensive veto, return the law with his objections to the parliament for a second hearing and vote. If the parliament, with at least two-thirds of the established number of deputies, confirms the decision earlier expected of him, the President of Turkmenistan signs the law. The President of Turkmenistan does not have the right of suspensive veto concerning the laws on amendments and additions to the Constitution;

1677.Forms the Central Commission for Elections and Referendums in Turkmenistan, makes changes in its composition;

1689.Designates the date of the referendum, has the right to convene an early session of the Mejlis;

16910.Decides questions related to grant of citizenship and removal from citizenship, grant of asylum;

17011.Awards honours and other state awards of Turkmenistan and grants military and other special state titles and distinctions;

17112.With the consent of the Mejlis, appoints and dismisses the Chairman of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Justice;

17213.Grants pardon and amnesty;

17314.In order to ensure the safety of citizens, orders the state of emergency throughout the national territory or in certain areas of Turkmenistan. Use of the state of emergency is governed by the law of Turkmenistan.

17415.Decides other questions, referred to his competence by the Constitution and the laws.

175ARTICLE 54

176The President of Turkmenistan issues decrees, decisions and orders, binding on the entire territory of Turkmenistan.

177ARTICLE 55

178The President of Turkmenistan cannot be the deputy [member] of the Mejlis [Parliament].

179ARTICLE 56

180The President of Turkmenistan has the right to immunity. His honour and dignity are protected by law.

181Maintenance and security of the President of Turkmenistan and his family are carried out by the state.

182ARTICLE 57

183The President of Turkmenistan may be prematurely released from his duty in case of his inability to fulfill his duties because of illness. The Mejlis, on the recommendation of an independent medical board created by it, may decide to release the President from the office. Such decision is taken by at least two-third vote of the established members of the Mejlis.

184In case of violation of the Constitution and laws of Turkmenistan by the President of Turkmenistan, the parliament may express no confidence in him. The issue of no-confidence can be considered at the request of no less than two-thirds of the established members of the Mejlis. The decision of no confidence is adopted by at least three-fourth of the established members of the Mejlis. The question for removal of President of Turkmenistan from the office is put on national referendum.

185ARTICLE 58

186The President of Turkmenistan is not entitled to transfer his authority to other public authorities or officials except for powers stipulated by paragraphs 2, 11, 13 of the article 53 of the Constitution.

187If the President of Turkmenistan, for whatever reason, is unable to perform his duties, pending the election of the new interim President the duties of the President of Turkmenistan, by a decision of the Security Council of Turkmenistan, can be assigned to a deputy chairman of the cabinet of ministers. Election of the President of Turkmenistan, in this case, should be held no later than 60 days from the day of transfer of powers temporarily to the Acting President of Turkmenistan. A person, who is temporarily acting as President of Turkmenistan, cannot run for the presidency.

188CHAPTER III. MEJLIS OF TURKMENISTAN

189ARTICLE 59

190Turkmenistan's Mejlis (parliament) is the highest representative body, exercising the legislative authority.

191ARTICLE 60

192The Parliament consists of 125 deputies, elected from geographical constituencies with approximately equal number of voters, for five years.

193ARTICLE 61

194Parliament can be dissolved prematurely in the following cases:

1951.On the basis of a decision through national referendum;

1962.On the basis of a resolution of the Mejlis, accepted by no less than two-third of the votes of established number of deputies of the Mejlis (self dissolution)

1973.By the President of Turkmenistan in case the formation of Mejlis office bearers [chairman, deputy chairmen etc.] is not done within six months.

198ARTICLE 62

199The parliament independently establishes the powers of the deputies, elects from among the deputies, the chairman of the Mejlis, his deputy, forms committees and commissions.

200The deputies of the Mejlis of the previous convocation remain in office until the first session of the Mejlis of the new convocation.

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