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Helsinki Commission Hears Gloomy Predictions For Turkmen Election

WASHINGTON -- Can an authoritarian country that still bears the strong imprint of its Soviet past and has just one political party, no independent media, and prisons full of political opponents hold free and fair elections?

The collective answer from a panel of experts who testified November 19 before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe was "no."

The country in question is Turkmenistan, the elections will take place on December 14, and the experts were assembled by the Helsinki Commission, which wanted to know if a new constitution and election law adopted a few months ago means that the famously closed country is, in fact, beginning to open up.

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Helsinki Commission Hears Gloomy Predictions For Turkmen Election

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