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Turkmenistan Holds Elections For Local Councils

A man votes in last December's parliamentary elections in Ashgabat.
ASHGABAT -- Turkmenistan held nationwide elections for local councils on July 26, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

Turnout for the elections was reportedly low as residents told RFE/RL they did not have any information about the canditates and there was no campaigning for the council posts.

Exit polls conducted by RFE/RL in some parts of Ashgabat and in some parts of the Lebap and Mary provinces showed voter turnout varied between 5 and 10 percent, although state media reported that 95.7 percent of eligible voters took part in the elections throughout the country.

Turkmenistan's state media added that the elections once again "proved the strength of reforms and the process of democratization" in the country.

Since coming to office in late 2006, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has pledged to allow greater freedom and bring democratic changes to Turkmenistan.