Niyazov made the pledge at the opening of the 17th session of the 2,600-member Halk Maslahaty, or People's Council, Turkmenistan's supreme legislative body.
Turkmen citizens have been granted free access to utilities since 1992, but shortages are reported to be frequent.
LIFE UNDER NIYAZOV: On July 21, RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center hosted a presentation by TAJIGUL BEGMEDOVA, chairwoman of the Bulgaria-based Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (THF). Begmedova discussed the human rights situation in Turkmenistan under President Saparmural Niyazov, focusing on the arrests in June of THF activists and RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Ogulsapar Muradova. Begmedova, who graduated from the Institute of Economy in Moscow in 1987, fled Turkmenistan in 2002 and lives in exile in Sofia.
LISTENListen to the complete presentation (36 minutes; presentation in Russian with consecutive translation into English):
Real Audio Windows Media
Some RFE/RL Coverage Of Human Rights In Turkmenistan:
ARCHIVE RFE/RL coverage of Turkmenistan.