Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov told legislators at the opening of parliament, the Mejlis, that they need to pass new laws that adhere to international standards, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.
Berdymukhammedov called in his January 9 speech for Turkmenistan's labor, criminal, and civil codes to be updated because they do not correspond to "modern realities."
He added that top priorities for legislators should be setting up the legal basis for the transition to a market economy and laws strengthening the private sector of the economy.
Berdymukhammedov criticized the former Mejlis for being slow in modifying the country's laws.
Local observers told RFE/RL that the address was unusual in Turkmenistan's recent history and gave hope that Berdymukhammedov may want to institute real reforms.