Son of Turkmenistan’s president elected as member of parliament

November 23, 2016 1:48 am

Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

The son of Turkmenistan’s President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has been elected the country’s member of parliament.
State television said Serdar Berdymukhamedov, the president’s only son, won the by-election in the country.
Serdar kept a low-profile in public and his election could be a sign that he is being groomed to eventually succeed President Berdymukhamedov. The son’s age has not been made public. Turkmenistan’s electoral commission said he had won 83 percent of the vote.
A series of changes in Turkmenistan’s constitution in September allowed the president to stay in power indefinitely. Many in the West accuse Berdymukhamedov of consolidating power in his inner circle, saying the 59-year-old wants to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov, who ruled the largely desert country during the Communist era and after independence from the Soviet Union until his death in 2006.
Berdymukhamedov enjoys a good deal of popularity in Turkmenistan and wields enormous power in the gas-rich Central Asian country. Turkmens say the president, who is commonly known as Arkadag (protector), is overseeing an “era of might and happiness” following the “Golden Age” of Niyazov, who was referred to as Turkmenbashi (leader of Turkmens).
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