Turkmenistan: President to Join Leaders-for-Life Club
The president of Turkmenistan is braced to join the Central Asian club of potential leaders-for-life with proposed changes to the Constitution that will inevitably be approved in October.
Proposed amendments published in Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper on February 15 envision presidential terms being increased to seven years, from the current five, and the 70-year upper age limit for presidential candidates being scrapped.
Such revision to the Constitution are transparently intended to ensure former dentist President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, now 58 years old, can remain in situ as long as he is alive.
The next presidential election had been slated for 2017, but that date will now likely be pushed back to 2019.
Before the amendments can come into force, they will have to be subjected to a public discussion at the Council of Elders in the capital, Ashgabat, later this year. Those events are typically reserved for extolling the president and wild clapping in support of his policies, so the procedure is only a formality.
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