At the ordinary seating of Turkmenistan’s Council of Elders on October 9-10, 2017, the President announced the necessity to reform the Council of Elders back into the People’s Council with legal status and extended authorities. Now, Yashuli Maslahaty will become Halk Maslahaty.
Traditionally, the Council of Elders (Yashuli Maslahaty) that serves the functions of a counselling body is called not less than once a year by a call of the country’s president, and takes place in one of the five regions of the state and Ashgabat to discuss the issues of the national scale. This year, the meeting took place in Ak Bugdai etrap (region) of Ahal velayat (oblast) in the center of Turkmenistan. The two-day seating of the Council of Elders ended with the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedow signing a number of bylaws targeted at successful realization of political, social and economic reforms.
The head of the state signed the constitutional laws of Turkmenistan “On introduction of changes to the Constitution of Turkmenistan”, “On Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan”, “On introduction of changes to the Constitutional law of Turkmenistan “On independence and foundation of the state structure of Turkmenistan,” prepared in the framework of constitutional reform.
Among the ratified documents there are laws of Turkmenistan “On free economic zones”, “On changes to the Labor Code of Turkmenistan”, “On changes and additions to the Code of Turkmenistan “On Land”, “On additions to the Law of Turkmenistan “On migration”.
During the seating, the head of Turkmenistan noted that from the first days of independence the state had been providing its people with free gas, water, electricity, salt and insignificant utility payments. These expenses accumulate into significant financial expenses for the state. “I think it would be right to follow the advice that the elders have been giving us for several years to introduce payments for the natural resources and remove the privileges,” summarized the President.
After unanimous approval by the members of the Council of Elders, the head of the state signed a bylaw “On regulation of pricing for natural gas, electric power, housing utility costs, transportation and communication services for all consumers” and “On approval of “Turkmen President’s Program on Social and Economic Development in 2018 – 2024”.
During the seating, it was suggested to shift the date of the Independence Day celebration by one month, from October 27 to the “end of September”.
Reminder: Initially the People’s Council was established in 1992 and was the highest representative body of the state (formally higher than the Parliament). However, in 2008 it was reformed into the Council of Elders, as a consultative body without legislative power.