Turkmenistan's 'New Father' Sworn In after 97% Election WinWorld | February 17, 2012, Friday // 14:58| views
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is the new-old President of Turkmenistan. File photo
'Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov has been inaugurated for his second five-year term after winning the local presidential elections with 97% of the vote.
Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov was sworn in Friday at a ceremony attended by some 3 000 people in the capital, Ashgabat, ITAR-TASS reported.
At a government meeting this week, Berdymukhamedov reaffirmed vows that he would install a multiparty democracy and develop a civil society.
He came to power after the 2006 death of Saparmurat Niyazov, also known as Turkmenbashi, i.e. "father of the Turkmen". Berdymukhamedov has diluted much of the cult of personality established around Niyazov, but his promises of reform have been largely unmet.
On Friday, Berdymukhamedov swore on the Kuran but did not pledge allegiance to the tenets of Niyazov's holy book, Ruhnama, which he did five years ago at his first inauguration.
Western media note that Turkmenistan is the subject of avid interest from the West, Russia and China for its natural gas reserves, estimated to be the world's fourth-largest.
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