23 December 2006

Niyazov Aftermath

IWPR has a good article on some of the aftermath of Niyazov's death in Turkmenistan. One of the best lines from it said that there were no newspapers in Turkmenistan today because there was nothing to report on- Turkmenbashi's activities have filled the newspapers for a long time.

And of course there are already rumors about his death. It's business as usual though in the country. The man who was supposed to become acting president, Ovezgeldy Ataev, has been fired and accused of various things by the man who actually became acting president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. He's apparently learned a few things from Niyazov. And if Berdymukhammedov ends up holding on to power, he may well have the longest last name of any head of state. Who would be some other contenders?

Some Russian experts have weighed in on Niyazov's death. I don't think anything is particularly predictable right now in Turkmenistan. I'll just hope (and pray) that the country is able to take a better direction sometime soon. It would be hard, although certainly possible, to do worse that Niyazov. But it will be hard to recover from that havoc Niyazov wreaked on the economic and education systems in the country, much less from his impact on every day life.

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