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New Multiparty Turkmen Parliament Meets, Reelects Old Speaker

The Turkmen parliament building in Ashgabat, complete with giant gold statue of the country's first president, Saparmurat Niyasov.
Turkmenistan's new multiparty parliament has reelected Akdzha Nurberdyeva as speaker at its first session.

Nurberdyeva has occupied the post of parliament speaker since 2007, when Turkmenistan's current president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, began his first term in office.

Last month, Turkmenistan held its first multiparty parliamentary elections since independence in 1991.

Both the ruling Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs created last year on Berdymukhammedov's order, as well as several other groups also on the ballot, all pledged allegiance to Berdymukhammedov.

The election was the first in the country attended by a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who said a report on the election will not be issued before February.

Based on reporting by Interfax and