Dan Malinovich, an expert for the U.S.-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), says the international community is "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects for serious change in Turkmenistan.
Malinovich told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that although "the changes that have happened on the ground may be not significant, the most significant thing is [the] recognition that changes need to be made."
He said the new election law is an improvement over the previous law, though certain parts of it need to be improved.
Malinovich was in Turkmenistan two weeks ago for the run-up to the December 14 parliamentary elections.
He met with Central Election Committee officials, representatives of the Institute of Democracy and Human Rights, and the only registered NGO in Turkmenistan, Keyikokara.