ASHGABAT, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkmenistan has approved constitutional changes which will expand the country's unicameral parliament to two chambers, the country's state news agency reported on Friday.
The upper house of parliament will consist of 56 seats, including one seat guaranteed for former president while 125 lawmakers from the lower house will be elected by voters, according to the legislature.
Chairing a session of the People's Council on Friday, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said the new legislature was "yet another important step toward democratizing our country."
Berdymukhamedov added that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's economy has maintained steady growth. The government allocates over 70 percent of the state budget for social affairs like healthcare and education this year and pledges to increase social welfare for healthcare workers.
The constitutional change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2021 and the new chamber would be formed in the first quarter of next year. Enditem