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Niyazov Sacks Officials, Cuts Pensions

President Niyazov (file photo) (AFP) 26 January 2006 -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has sacked officials for what he said were great shortcomings.

Niyazov dismissed the governor, Kakamyrat Annagylyjov, of Turkmenistan's northern Dasoguz region. Niyazov said the governor took bribes and stole over $2 million in state funds.

"[Kakamyrat Annagylyjov, governor of Dashoguz,] took an oath to work properly and solve all problems," the president said. "But the result of his work in the short period of a year is that he replaced employees of institutions beneficial [to people] with his own people [in the region], he took bribes, he engaged in a lot of corrupt practices. He has many wives. These misdeeds did not start [after his appointment], they came from the past, but we didn't investigate them properly."

Niyazov also sacked the head of the State Fishing Committee for misappropriating funds, as well as the agriculture minister.

Niyazov also announced big cuts in state pensions. He said that due to a census error, the number of eligible pensioners in the country is to be cut by more than 100,000 people.

(ITAR-TASS, Reuters, Interfax, Turkmen TV)

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