Ruhyýet Palace in Ashgabat, the building where Turkmenistan’s major state events take place. Elections in Turkmenistan have never been free or fair. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Kerri-Jo Stewart (CC BY 2.0)
Freedom House Rating
Presidential Republic; authoritarian
March 28, 2021
February 2024 (due)
March 25, 2018
February 12, 2017
Turkmenistan is due to hold parliamentary elections on March 28, 2021.
Turkmenistan is a highly repressive state that has never held free or fair elections. Longtime dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, nicknamed Turkmenbashi, was known for his outlandish behavior, including renaming the months of the year after his family members, before his death in 2006. His successor, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, is equally repressive and equally bizarre. The country lacks a genuine political opposition.
Catherine Putz, The Diplomat (February 13, 2021): Son of Turkmenistan’s President Gets New Post
Helen Regan and Reuters, CNN (November 13, 2020): Turkmenistan’s authoritarian leader unveils huge golden dog statue in the capital
Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL (March 21, 2018): Turkmen Elections Look Like Next Step Toward Dynasty
Updated March 1, 2021