Tuesday, December 26, 2006
RFE-RL's latest report from Turkmenistan show how little has changed following the death of long-time dictator Saparmurat Niyazov. Today the People's Assembly set elections for February 11, and changed the constitution to allow Interim President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to run for the post permanently. In addition, Nurberdy Nurmammedov, announced as the proposed candidate for the unified and largely exiled opposition, has disappeared inside Turkmenistan. In other words, those privileged under the Niyazov regime have no intention of weakening their power, and seem to have decided on Berdymukhammedov as at least the figurehead to rally around.