[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Turkmen fortify president's power
Highest legislative body votes Turkmenistan's new president to be chairman.
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2007 04:04 GMT
The People's Council voted unanimously to appoint Berdymukhamedov its chairman [Reuters]

Turkmenistan's new president has been elected head of the country's highest legislative body, strengthening his grip on power in the natural gas-rich Central Asian nation.
 

The roughly 2,500 members of the People's Council voted unanimously on Friday to appoint Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the president, their chairman. He was the only candidate.

Berdymukhamedov replaced Saparmurat Niyazov, the country's long-serving president, following his death in December.
 
A former health minister, he has cancelled some of Niyazov's least popular policies and promised more openness in the ex-Soviet republic that borders Iran and Afghanistan.
However, he has given no sign that he will scrap the country's one-party rule, and Friday's vote underlined the continued concentration of power in one man's hands.
 
Niyazov, who styled himself Turkmenbashi, meaning "Father of All Turkmen", had ruled Turkmenistan since 1985, establishing a personality cult. He chaired the People's Council, using it to endorse his most crucial decisions.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list