ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- An election observer from the Commonwealth of Independent States said parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan were in line with democratic principles.
Turkmenistan held its first-ever multiparty elections for members of Parliament last weekend. Vote counting was under way Monday. An official from the CIS told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on condition of anonymity the elections were "fair" and followed "democratic principles."
RFE/RL reported instances of voters casting multiple ballots at their polling stations. Though the election was open, both the ruling Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and the rival Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs pledged their allegiance to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
RFE/RL said 2012 presidential elections were fixed in Berdimuhamedov's favor. The CIS found no problems with the presidential contest.
There is a cult of personality surrounding Berdimuhamedov, who also serves as prime minister and military commander in chief. Berdimuhamedov has been in office since 2006.
No Western observers were invited to monitor the elections.