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Entrepreneurs Seek To End Turkmen Political Monopoly

Ready for some company? President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Ready for some company? President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Turkmenistan state-run media say business leaders are setting up a political party to challenge the one-party system that has controlled that Central Asian state since its independence two decades ago.

The Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs this week published an advertisement in several media outlets seeking members for the new Entrepreneurs' Party.

A conference is expected "soon" to discuss the new party's program, organizers told RFE/RL.

It was not immediately clear whether the party has been officially registered.

Since its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union, energy-rich Turkmenistan has had only the Democratic Party, led by a succession of authoritarian rulers.

In 2010, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov proposed the formation of a second party and instructed parliament to adopt a law on political parties.

With additional reporting by Ria-Novosti