The EU is already more than a year trying to reach an agreement on the purchase of Turkmen gas, turning a blind eye to the human rights situation in Turkmenistan, for which he was subjected to sharp criticism from human rights organizations. However, few human rights activists who are listening …
In Turkmenistan, an alternative presidential elections were held. Gone with the predictable result: the candidate, whose victory was never in doubt, is the current president , Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov . This second “alternative” choices in the country. The first President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov twice “won” in uncontested presidential elections, and then became president for life.
In 2007 Berdimuhamedov opposed to five candidates. However, then they had to pay for it.According to human rights defenders, one of the candidates shortly after the election, was arrested and sentenced to long term, the other three were dismissed from their posts, and only one was able to “safely” to finish his career by going to retire.
At this time, apparently, “rivals” Berdymukhamedov will avoid the fate of successors, because, apparently, their participation in the action was approved and even encouraged.
According to the Central Election Commission of Turkmenistan, released on the eve of the election results of past president, Berdymukhamedov won 97.14 percent of the vote.
If in this case we can speak of progress, it should be noted that in the current presidential campaign, took part in not one but eight candidates. However, the feature of the election is that both the process of elections and the candidates – just decoration, built for performance, the audience which is the West.
But the surprising thing is that Western countries are quite happy, because the policy of the West of double standards often rests on the question of the availability of energy resources in some individual countries. In fact, the victory of the incumbent president of the country and benefit from both Moscow and Washington and Brussels, and Beijing. But only the West while trying on the one hand, to remain committed to Western values, but on the other, not to harm their energy security.
That election, to put it mildly, did not meet European standards, proved quite a few illustrative facts. First, it is very short – just over two months – amount of time allotted for the campaign.
Second, during the campaign meetings and meetings of the presidential candidates (all of them civil servants, among them – two ministers – Energy and Industry and Water Resources of the country) were in favor of Berdymukhamedov.
In addition, the news agency “Interfax-Kazakhstan” dated February 9, Turkmenistan has “unilaterally closed the border with Kazakhstan in connection with the presidential election.”This is clearly a step taken as part of measures to ensure holding of elections, as planned.
In addition, a very eloquent facts, such as the ongoing ban on registration of public associations, the lack of progress on the issue of political prisoners. It is important that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) refused to send observers to the elections, limiting the evaluation mission.
This is not surprising. In January, the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch World Report released in 2012. It is noted that under the current President of Turkmenistan remains one of the most repressive countries in the world. The document says that the country remains closed to independent monitoring, there are sharp limits on freedom of media and religion, human rights are constantly under threat of sanctions from the authorities. The UN Committee against Torture expressed concern about allegations of widespread torture and ill-treatment, as well as on cases of enforced disappearances of citizens.
Rated press freedom organization “Reporters without Borders” in Turkmenistan in 2010 was 176 out of 178.
However, the issue of human rights is displaced into the background of economic preferences: Turkmenistan holds the 4th place in the world reserves of natural gas to China and signed a number of large transactions.
The EU is already more than a year trying to reach an agreement on the purchase of Turkmen gas, turning a blind eye to the human rights situation in Turkmenistan, for which he was subjected to sharp criticism from human rights organizations.
However, few listens to human rights defenders. In fact, Turkmenistan and the West have entered a sort of unspoken agreement: Ashkhabad is trying to portray that in which the West is trying to believe.
For example, Berdimuhamedov said recently about the initiative, designed to make the political system of Turkmenistan more transparent. At the moment, on a legal basis in the country has only one political party, ironically, called the “Democratic”.
Adopted in mid-January, the law on political parties seem to be laying the foundation for the formation of multi-party political system in the country. “Citizens of Turkmenistan are accorded equal rights and equal opportunities are created for the creation of political parties and free participation in their activities,” – says one of the provisions of the law, published in the Official Gazette “Neutral Turkmenistan”.
However, all these changes are designed, primarily, to the West, and the second – on the people of Turkmenistan. The fact that all Central Asian leaders can not help worrying example of the “Arab spring” and to reduce the level of discontent, which is certainly present, Berdimuhamedov is ready to show some changes, while not risking anything special, and to assess the reasons for the growing discontent.
And the fact that there is discontent, recently were able to see everything.
Despite the desire of the authorities of Turkmenistan to hide information on strikes on a number of oil and gas companies in connection with the nonpayment of wages and rally against the demolition of housing in Ashgabat, found out about the world’s media.
The last straw was that after the explosion of ammunition depot in Abadan city residents, despite threats by the police and the Ministry of Security, sent photos and video footage showing the true extent of the damage to foreign media.
This led to a sensational statement made at the meeting on the day of the tragedy in Abadan, where the country’s president “invited” to the elections the opposition.
“We are ready to dialogue with the group calling itself the” opposition”. If any of their representatives wish to take part in the upcoming presidential election, he can safely travel to Turkmenistan. I guarantee that, for them, as for the citizens of our country, will be created equal conditions and opportunities for participation in the elections, “- these words of the Turkmen president delivered the news agencies.
However, the realization of the intentions of President until the light in question. However, in the case of Berdimuhamedov has a willingness to think about the opposition – well worth it.
For now everything will remain as is. Country with the fourth-largest gas reserves in the world, will use a “gas trump card” that will determine not only the foreign policy of the republic for years to come, but also internally, with the connivance of the corresponding West. The president and his government will continue to promise the gas is almost all interested parties, skillfully using this tactic for the loyalty of players worldwide.
And Europe is pleased to continue to wait for the Turkmen gas by closing their eyes to all that loves to scream when it comes to other, less energy-rich countries.