Turkmenistan leader’s son gets senior parliament job

Turkmenistan leader’s son gets senior parliament job

ASHGABAT – The Associated Press
Turkmenistan leader’s son gets senior parliament job

Serdar Berdymukhamedov, the only son of Turkmenistan’s longtime president has become a senior lawmaker.

The government daily Neutral Turkmenistan reported on March 21 that Serdar Berdymukhamedov has become the chairman of the parliament’s legal affairs committee. 

He previously had served as head of the Foreign Ministry’s information department.

His father, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, has ruled the gas-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian nation since late 2006 following the death of his autocratic predecessor.

The president, who also has three daughters, has established an elaborate personality cult, with state media showing his prowess in an array of physical disciplines, including horse riding, racing cars, cycling and lifting weights. 

The constitution was amended to extend the presidential term to seven years from five and eliminate the age limit of 70, effectively allowing Berdymukhamedov, 59, to be president for life.

On Feb. 17, Berdymukhamedov was sworn a new presidential term in a grand ceremony after securing over 97 percent of an almost uncontested vote.