Tuesday, February 06, 2007


So I was casually glancing about Wikipedia (procrastinating on the headache that is laundry) when I read that, as of December 21, 2006, Saparmurat Niyazov* has died. Reportedly of a cardiac arrest, though some theorists believe he was poisoned.

What is that going to mean for Turkmenistan? Apparently, they amended the constitution so that those of mixed ethnic backgrounds could be president (read: Saparmurat's son, Murat).

Also according to the constitution, next in line to the presidency was Öwezgeldi Ataýew, but he was coincidentally thrown in jail on the exact same day that Saparmurat died, on charges that he was harrassing and humiliating his daughter-in-law, driving her to attempt suicide.

Presidential elections are this Sunday. I can't WAIT to see what happens. But it gets better.

Acting president is Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhammedow, who was a dentist, before he entered Turkmenistan politics. He is said to be responsible for the mandate that closed ALL of the hospitals outside of the capital city (based on flawed logic that if you are sick, you want to be near the best resources). Uncoincidentally, Turkmenistan is reported to have the worst healthcare among the former Soviet nations.

According to rumors, the acting president is also the former president's illegitimate son (not to be confused with his legitimate son, also a presidential contender, Murat).

*You may recall Saparmurat Niyazov from his greatest hits like: "President For Life;" "Ban Ballet and Opera in the Name of Useless;" "Close All Rural Libraries and Hospitals Since the Common Man Knows Neither Books Nor Medicine;" "Dogs and Video Games Are Forbidden Because They Stink/Stink of Violence."

And for you, Saparmurat, The Man Who Would Be King.mp3.

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