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Turkmenistan's State Security Council will begin discussions on the election of the country's new president December 26
Turkmenistan's State Security Council will begin discussions on the election of the country's new president December 26. Former Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov died of heart failure last Thursday at the age of 66. He ruled in an eccentric manner, erecting golden statues to himself, naming a meteorite in his name, and decreeing that his quasi-Islamic precepts, under the title of Ruhnama, be the nation's guiding principal. Diplomatic sources in Turkmenistan said Khalk Maslakhaty (People's Council), the country's highest administrative body, which settles all issues in the country and has the right to amend the Constitution, will probably submit several candidates for the presidential post at its December 26 meeting. People in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, said that the most probable candidate for the post is acting President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, but the Turkmen Constitution prohibits an acting president to run for the post. Moscow, which has resisted radical power changes in post-Soviet nations, said earlier it hopes power in Turkmenistan will be transferred lawfully.
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