UN, With Office in Turkmenistan, Assesses One-Party
Election But Won't Comment
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 15 -- The UN under Ban
Ki-moon and his political advisor B. Lynn Pascoe opened a regional
Turkmenistan. Over the weekend, as an election was held in the country
90% of the candidates all came from one party, the UN had three people
Turkmenistan in connection with the election. All hail, Gurbanguli
City Press on Monday asked Ban's spokesperson Michele Montas if the UN
that election had been free and fair.
Ultimately the answer was in writing:
Subj: Your question on
To: Inner City Press
Date: 12/15/2008 4:25:39 P.M.
Eastern Standard Time
In response to a request from the
Government of Turkmenistan, the United Nations deployed a small
assessment mission with a view to report to the Secretary-General on
parliamentary elections on 14 December 2008. It was not
there to observe the elections, not will it be making public
statements on the conduct of the electoral process.
So how can
it be called an assessment mission? What did it assess, and for whom?
the least quantum of democracy which the UN will use to justify putting
center in a state rich in natural gas?
Voting in Turkmenistan, under a watchful eye, UN's 3 watch but no
tip our hat to chrono-tm.org
and include this from it --
"Gulgeldy Annaniyazov was
one of the dissident leaders known as the 'Ashgabat Eight.' He was
in 1995, after organizing a demonstration in support of democratic
Ashgabat. The severe conditions in Turkmen prisons took their toll on
prisoners. In 1998, a fellow prisoner reported that Annaniazov's
deteriorated dramatically, and he could barely walk or speak. One of
co-defendants, Charymurat Gurov, died in prison, apparently as a result
"Annaniazov was released
under a presidential amnesty decree in January 1999. Following his
Annaniazov fled to Kazakhstan but was arrested when trying to cross the
into Russia. In the face of intense international pressure, Kazakhstan
extradite "Annaniazov, who was granted refugee status and resettled in
Norway in 2002. He was living in Norway with refugee status until his
Turkmenistan in June 2008. "According to Annaniazov's own statement, he
returned to Turkmenistan in order to 'help his fatherland to improve
education and public health systems.'
Three men, presumed to be
security service agents, entered his parent's home on 24 June 2008 and
him, without presenting a warrant or giving any reasons for his arrest.
to tell Annaniazov's family where he would be detained. The arrest took
at the same time as the EU-Turkmenistan human rights dialogue was
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
Reporter's mobile (and
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]