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Six candidates for the Turkmen presidency were officially registered Thursday
Six candidates for the Turkmen presidency were officially registered Thursday, the Central Asian country's election commission said. Presidential elections will be held in the gas-rich country February 11, following the death of its long-time ruler, Saparmurat Niyazov, of heart failure last week. Acting President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, 49, deputy prime minister since 2001, tops the list of six candidates approved December 26 by the People's Council, the country's main legislative body, and selected out of 11 nominees to run for president. The other contenders, who passed the required threshold of two-thirds of the vote in the People's Council, include Ishankuli Nuryev, deputy minister of the oil and gas industry, Abadan Mayor Orazmurat Karadzhayev, Amanniyaz Atadzhikov, the head of the Dashoguz Region, Mukhammetnazar Kurbanov, the head of the Karabekaul District of the Lepab Region, and Ashirniyaz Pommanov, mayor of the Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi, or Father of the Turkmen, the way Niyazov was referred to in his country. The Turkmen Central Election Commission ordered to establish 65 election districts in the country. Polling stations will be open February 11 from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m. local time.
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