More candidates have been nominated to run in Turkmenistan's upcoming presidential election.
State media reports that incumbent Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov will now face seven opponents.
The new names added to the list include the managing directors of three major companies -- Kakageldi Abdyllayev of the Mary Oil refinery; Nikita Rejepov of the Turkmen Oil Geophysics company; Myrat Charykulyev of the Mary-Ozot chemical company, and Aydogdy Kakabayev, mayor of Baba Dayhan District.
Turkmenistan has one political party, the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, chaired by Berdymukhammedov, who is expected to easily win the presidential poll on February 12, 2012.
The vote will be only the second time since 1991 independence that Turkmenistan has held presidential elections featuring more than one candidate.
Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Turkmen Service