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Turkmenistan Votes In Local Elections


Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov

Polls open today for local elections in Turkmenistan, where supporters of the closed Central Asian nation's authoritarian president are expected to win seats.

Some 3 million people are eligible to vote in the tightly controlled elections.

Some polling stations are decorated with portraits of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who took power after the 2006 death of dictator Saparmurat Niyazov.

U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks describes Berdymukhammedov as "not very bright" and "a practiced liar."

The Turkmen leader also reportedly does not like the United States, Iran, or Turkey, but is fond of China.

compiled from agency reports
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