Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Still a Dictatorship

I don't understand speculation that Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is some sort of secret proponent of Central Asian democracy. He's replacing members of the old guard because they threaten his own power, not because of a quiet crusade to completely remake the regime, as with Katherine Kurtz's Rhys Michael Alister Haldane. Are there really grounds to believe otherwise? Berdymukhammedov, after all, was produced by the same political system that gave us Niyazov, even if he doesn't share the latter's paranoid and isolationist tendencies.



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