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Turkmen Leader Shuffles Government Yet Again

President Niyazov (file photo) Ashgabat, 9 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has announced new appointments to his cabinet, a frequently occurring event on Turkmenistan's political scene.

Niyazov yesterday said that the chief of Turkmenistan's Main State Tax Service, Amandurdy Myratgulyev, has been appointed deputy chairman of the ministerial cabinet responsible for economic issues. Myratgulyev retains his post as head tax official.

Asyrgeldi Gulgarayev was appointed minister of justice, and Jumanyaz Annaorazov was appointed minister of economy and finance.

Niyazov also announced that he'd like to see an even more frequent rotation of government officials: "Times are different now. Every year, every month we should change officials."

Niyazov regularly sacks government officials, often on corruption charges or for failing to perform their duties. On 7 March, Niyazov dismissed Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov from the post of deputy prime minister, saying he needs to develop a more "responsible attitude" in his duties.

(RFE/RL Turkmen Service/Interfax/BBC--Turkmen TV)