05:39 GMT +324 February 2018
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    Turkmen president to seek reelection in 2012

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    Turkmenistan's president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, has registered to stand for reelection in next year's elections.

    Turkmenistan's president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, has registered to stand for reelection in next year's elections.

    Berdimuhamedov, who has headed the gas rich nation since 2007, said that the February 12 presidential polls would be "open and transparent" with the participation of "several contenders."

    Former dentist Berdimuhamedov became president after the death of Saparmurat Niyazov, who styled himself as Turkmenbashi, or the father of all Turkmen. His idiosyncratic rule saw the erection of statues and portraits of him go up all over the former Soviet republic.

    His book - the Ruhnama - was also compluslory reading at schools and universities.

    While Berdimuhamedov has dismantled many of the attributes of Niyazov's rule, analysts say there is still little genuine political competition in Turkmenistan.

    On Friday, Gurbanguly abolished the nationwide Turkmen movement, Galkynysh (Revival) that united all the country’s political parties and NGOs.

    Niyazov created Galkynysh in the 1990s in order to unite the country’s various political forces under pro-presidential ideas.

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