Where's That Second Party in Turkmenistan?
Back in February, after Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov visited France and met with President Nicolas Sarkozy, there was some speculation that the French leader had quietly raised human rights issues and suggested some indicators for improvement. Some weeks later. Berdymukhamedov announced he was willing to permit a second party to be registered.
In May, the Turkmen president even said in a speech on state television that he was ordering parliament to draft a law on political parties, the Turkmen Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
The second party hasn't appeared yet, however.
To date, the ill-named Democratic Party has been the only party allowed to operate since Turkmenistan gained its independence in 1991 -- but technically, it has no law to govern it.
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