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Turkmen interim leader suggests multiparty system possible

Turkmen interim leader suggests multiparty system possible

Turkmenistan's acting president signaled Thursday that the country was considering allowing a multiparty political system.
In a campaign statement shown on television ahead of next month's presidential elections, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said "the state should make all efforts to ensure the development of the country, which may create grounds for the emergence of political parties."
Berdymukhamedov is seen as the heavy favorite among six candidates in the Feb. 11 voting to fill the presidency in the wake of longtime ruler Saparmurat Niyazov's death in December.
Niyazov, who ruled for more than two decades with absolute power, allowed only one political party and stifled dissent.
Developments in this ex-Soviet republic after Niyazov's death have been closely watched by both Russia and the West because of its huge natural gas reserves and its strategic location next to Iran and Afghanistan.
The candidacies of Berdymukhamedov, who also is deputy prime minister, and the other five running for the presidency were all appointed by the country's highest legislative body.
Berdymukhamedov has promised to continue in Niyazov's path. However, he has also pledged agricultural, education and pension reforms, support of private entrepreneurship and unrestricted Internet access _ all significant deviations from Niyazov's policies.


Updated : 2021-04-11 02:51 GMT+08:00