Turkmenistan Calls Snap Election to Replace Strongman Leader

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan will maintain snap presidential elections after the nation’s authoritarian chief introduced he is able to relinquish energy to a brand new technology.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s assertion that the nation ought to be directed by youthful individuals appeared to recommend that his son Serdar would succeed him; the son has risen by means of a collection of more and more distinguished authorities posts and is now the deputy chairman of the Cupboard.

The presidential election is to be held on March 12, the parliament declared on Saturday.

No election in post-Soviet Turkmenistan has been thought of genuinely aggressive. Whereas eight candidates ran towards Berdymukhamedov within the final election in 2017, all expressed assist for his authorities and Berdymukhamedov tallied greater than 97% of the vote.

Berdymukhamedov got here to energy in 2006 after the loss of life of the eccentric Saparmurat Niyazov and he established a pervasive cult of persona much like his predecessor’s. Beneath his rule, the nation has remained tough for outsiders to enter and Turkmenistan has not reported any circumstances of an infection within the coronavirus pandemic.

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It additionally has struggled to diversify its financial system, which is overwhelmingly depending on its huge pure gasoline reserves.

The 64-year-old Berdymukhamedov cultivates a picture of sturdy and aggressive well being with media stunts that included his firing a pistol at a man-sized goal whereas driving a bicycle and hoisting a gold weightlifting bar, to the applause of his Cupboard.

Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this story.

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