Sunday, December 24, 2006
As Saparmurat Niyazov is buried in Kipchak, a struggle for power in his wake has already begun. IWPR reports that interim President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov has formed an alliance with Presidential Guard commander Akmurad Rejepov. They also report that the interim Presidency would normally go to Parliament Speaker Ovezgeldy Ataev, who has now been dismissed and arrested. If Berdymuhammedov's faction consolidates power, it will almost certainly continue Niyazov's despotism, though its foreign policies remain uncertain.