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Acts : ETG OPINION POLL TURKMENISTAN
Posted by admin on 2007/2/5 14:30:00 (885 reads)

Dedicated to M.I., a woman who supported us in realizing this opinion poll in Ashkhabad. After interviewing people, she was arrested and maltreated by members of the MNB.

Introduction
Turkmenistan was, and remains, one of the most isolated societies in the world. Under President Niyazov, who died in December 2006, it was nearly impossible for independent observers, NGOs and analysts to collect information about the views, opinions, or thoughts of the Turkmen public. Except for a few Western European embassies and the OSCE Mission in Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, no Western observers could stay in the country, and journalists were ultimately forced to leave.

Unfortunately, the political situation did not change with Niyazov's death. In fact, it got worse. This was evidenced in the recent Ovadan-Depe prison massacre, where Turkmen special forces suppressed a riot in a closely-guarded prison camp outside Ashgabat, leaving 23 people dead. The massacre put to rest any hopes for a positive transition in Turkmenistan and showed that the junta, which seized power a month ago, is determined to continue the reign of terror. Hoping to legitimize their rule, the junta has scheduled to stage an election on February 11, 2007, which analysts agree will be a farce.

Because of Turkmenistan's seclusion, it was and remains difficult to get an impression of the electorate's public opinion. ETG is proud to present one of the first polls, which was supported and supervised by our organization. With the assistance of our correspondents in Turkmenistan, ETG-sponsored pollsters were able to interview over 1,100 individuals from every region in the country.

The sections below detail the results of the first of several opinion-poll studies which the ETG will publish roughly once a week in order to depict the lives, opinions, and desires of ordinary Turkmens. We divided this first opinion poll into two parts. The first part gives the opinion of the whole country. The second analyses the different velajats (districts) of the country. In total, ETG interviewed 1,145 citizens of Turkmenistan in total. The numbers in the different districts are as follows:

District name Number of interviewed citizens

Tashauskij velajat 105
Lebapskij velajat 157
Maryjskij velajat 226
Balkanskij velajat 84
Akhalskij velajat 123
Ashkhabad 450
Total 1.145

Our preliminary findings indicate that:

1. A significant majority of respondents view the present junta and its leader as illegitimately appointed, which indicates that Turkmen citizens want a change in the current political situation and reinforces the need for free and fair election.

2. Prospective voter turnout appears to be very low. This can serve as a benchmark against which to call into question the “official” statistics when the mock elections take place in three weeks.

3. Most Turkmen citizens believe that their vote will not actually be counted, which highlights the lack of legitimacy of the upcoming elections.

4. And, finally, the high percentage of “do not know” answers on most questions indicates the necessity of voter education program.

Turkmenistan
1. Question: Will you exercise your right to vote in the Presidential Election on February 11, 2007?

Yes & 69%
No & 12%
Do not know & 19

2. Question: In your opinion, do you think that interim President Berdymukhamedov was appointed legally for this post?

Yes & 13%
No & 25%
Do not know & 62%

3. Question: Do you expect that your personal vote will be counted on Election Day?

Yes & 12%
No & 55%
Do not know & 33%

4.a. Question: Would you like to have a President who is (or acting for) a Member of the Turkmen Security Service (MNB)?

Yes & 0%
No & 87%
Do not know & 13%

4.b. Would you like to have a President who supports democratic reforms?

Yes & 81%
No & 1%
Do not know & 18%

5.a. Would you like to have candidates for the Presidential Elelction who were appointed by Khalk Maslakhaty?

Yes & 10%
No & 78%
Do not know & 12%

5.b. Would you like to have candidates that were appointed by the direct system, including the democratic opposition abroad?

Yes & 68%
No & 18%
Do not know & 14%

The results in the districts of Turkmenistan:

1. Question: Will you exercise your right to vote for the Presidential Election on February 11, 2007?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij& 60% & 19% & 21%
Lebapskij & 54% & 17% & 29%
Maryjskij & 57% & 13% & 12%
Balkanski & 80% & 0% & 20%
Akhalskij & 55% & 0% & 45%
Ashkhabad & 83% & 6% & 11%

2. Question: In your opinion, do you think that interim President Berdymukhamedov was appointed legally for this post?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij & 23% & 27% & 50%
Lebapskij & 0% & 30% & 70%
Maryjskij & 7% & 46% & 47%
Balkanski & 34% & 20% & 20%
Akhalskij & 46% & 40% & 24%
Ashkhabad & 8% & 10% & 82%

3. Question: Do you expect that your personal vote will be counted on Election Day?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij & 12% & 60% & 28%
Lebapskij & 16% & 55% & 29%
Maryjskij & 23% & 60% & 17%
Balkanski & 12% & 70% & 18%
Akhalskij & 9% & 70% & 21%
Ashkhabad & 6% & 43% & 51%

4.a. Question: Would you like to have a President who is (or acting for) a Member of the Turkmen Security Service (MNB)?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij & 0% & 79% & 21%
Lebapskij & 0% & 84% & 16%
Maryjskij & 0% & 94% & 6%
Balkanski & 0% & 80% & 20%
Akhalskij & 0% & 71% & 29%
Ashkhabad & 0% & 93% & 7%

4.b. Would you like to have a President who supports democratic reforms?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij & 67% & 2% & 31%
Lebapskij & 66% & 3% & 31%
Maryjskij & 93% & 3% & 4%
Balkanski & 74% & 0% & 26%
Akhalskij & 85% & 0% & 15%
Ashkhabad & 83% & 0% & 17%

5.a. Would you like to have candidates for the Presidential Elelction who were appointed by Khalk Maslakhaty?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij & 7% & 75% & 18%
Lebapskij & 8% & 77% & 15%
Maryjskij & 5% & 81% & 14%
Balkanski & 6% & 87% & 7%
Akhalskij & 0% & 90% & 10%
Ashkhabad & 17% & 72% & 11%

5.b. Would you like to have candidates that were appointed by the direct system including the democratic opposition abroad?

& Yes & No & Do not know

Tashauzskij & 77% & 10% & 13%
Lebapskij & 65% & 11% & 24%
Maryjskij & 54% & 25% & 21%
Balkanski & 86% & 0% & 14%
Akhalskij & 87% & 3% & 10%
Ashkhabad & 66% & 27% & 7%

Eurasian Transition Group
February 5, 2007

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