The commission also gave orders for all 65 electoral districts to start preparing for the election.
The candidates are current acting President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov; Deputy Petroleum Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Ishanguly Nuryev; Abadan city head Orazmyrad Garajayev; Turkmenbashi city Governor Ashirniyaz Pomanov; parliament deputy and First Deputy Governor of the Dashoguz region Amanyaz Atajykov; and the head of the Karabekaul district, Mukhammetnazar Gurbanov.
CEC chief Murad Karryev has said he would "do everything" to make sure Berdymukhammedov wins "because he is a worthy candidate."
Turkmenistan's state newspapers today published the new law on presidential elections, adopted at a December 26 session of the Halk Maslahaty (People's Council).
Under President Saparmurat Niyazov, who died last week after leading independent Turkmenistan since 1991, a law on presidential elections was never adopted.
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):
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Some RFE/RL Coverage Of Human Rights In Turkmenistan:
ARCHIVE RFE/RL coverage of Turkmenistan.