ASHGABAT - The Associated Press
Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Reuters photo
Turkmenistan's government says it plans to create two new political parties, bringing an end to the authoritarian nation's current one-party system.
TDH state news agency cited Deputy Prime Minister Sapardurdy Toyliyev as saying Monday that work is in progress on drawing up the founding charters of agrarian and entrepreneur parties.
While those parties will nominally end the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan's monopoly in the former Soviet nation's parliament, absolute power will continue to be wielded by President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov.
The state's involvement in the parties' formation also quashes any prospect of their genuine autonomy.
Opposition to the government has been ruthlessly stamped out since independence in 1991.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2013.