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Turkmen President Sacks Two Regional Governors --> President Niyazov (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) October 26, 2006 -- Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov has fired two regional governors, blaming them for failing to meet this year's raw cotton-production targets.

Addressing a cabinet meeting on October 25, Niyazov accused Amandurdy Myratgulyev and Meretguly Gubyev, the governors of the Ahal and Balkan regions respectively, of serious shortcomings in their work, "which led to the disruption of the cotton-harvesting campaign."

Turkmenistan's official TDH news agency says Niyazov appointed replacements for the deposed governors, giving them a six-month probation period.

Niyazov ordered the prosecutor-general to investigate Myratgulyev and Gubyev, who he said were also suspected of abuse of office

Independent reports saying the two men have been arrested could not be immediately confirmed.

The opposition Gundogar information website quoted Niyazov as saying he would deal "later" with the governors of three other regions -- Dashhowuz, Mari, and Lebap -- where this year's cotton output is reportedly below government targets.

(TDH, Gundogar, Interfax)
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