Accessibility links

Breaking News

Turkmen President Stepping Down As Party Leader

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov says he is stepping down as leader of the ruling party to promote a multiparty system.

Berdymukhammedov told a party conference on August 17 that, in a multiparty system, "the president of a country should not be a member of any party."

Berdymukhammedov has led the Democratic Party since 2006, taking over after the death of Saparmurat Niyazov, his predecessor as president and party leader.

Formerly the Turkmen branch of the Soviet Communist Party, it was the country's only party for two decades.

Last year, a new law authorized the creation of a new political party called the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

The Democratic Party has some 190,000 members, the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs around 2,000.

Both parties are set to contest parliamentary elections in December.

Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.