Friday, January 05, 2007

Turkmenistan's Krushchev?

Based on his campaign promises, Turkmenistan's new leader Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov may break with some of his predecessor's worst abuses:
"But presenting his election program, acting president Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov suggested he would reverse Niyazov's policy if elected at polls on February 11.

"'I consider that the international network internet and new communications technology must be accessible for every citizen,' Berdymukhamedov said late on Wednesday.

"It was not immediately clear if Berdymukhamedov, who pledged loyalty to Niyazov's line after his death and is the favourite to win election, intended to try to open up the isolated country to outside influences...

"Niyazov drew sharp international criticism too over his policy on education in which he reduced the number of school years, ruled invalid foreign education degrees and imposed curbs on learning foreign languages.

"Berdymukhamedov, who made his comments at a public meeting, drew applause by promising to lengthen the number of years at school and send gifted children to study abroad."


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