Friday, July 29, 2016


Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Considers Extending Presidential Rule

The changes would open the door for authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, 57, to be president for life.
The changes would open the door for authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, 57, to be president for life.

Lawmakers in Turkmenistan are considering constitutional changes that would remove the 70-year age limit at which a president can serve.

State media on May 29 cited Akdzha Nurberdyeva, speaker of the Turkmen parliament, as saying that a constitutional commission may also seek to extend the presidential term from five to seven years.

Such changes would open the door for authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, 57, to be president for life.

Berdymukhammedov, who seized power in 2006 after the death of President Saparmurat Niyazov, was reelected in 2012 with some 97 percent of the vote in an election deemed neither free nor fair by international observers.

Natural-gas-rich Turkmenistan is considered one of the world's most repressive states and has been listed near the bottom of all freedom and democracy surveys since gaining independence after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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