Turkmenistan will hold snap presidential elections today. The current President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, announced in February he would retire from the
Turkmenistan will hold snap presidential elections today.
The current President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, announced in February he would retire from the presidency to make way for the next generation. His son, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, is widely expected to win today. The election is viewed as a sham both domestically and internationally, with a predetermined outcome.
Turkmenistan is suffering from an economic crisis. While rich in gas, since 2014, the country has only exported the resource to China through the China-Central Asia pipeline. Accumulated debt from pipeline construction has made the state beholden to Beijing and sapped it of oil revenues. The people suffer from poverty, rampant inflation, and food shortages, while the elites hoard oil wealth.
This election will almost certainly have no impact on Turkmenistan’s political or economic situation. Little is known about Serdar’s political views, and his father will retain some political power as head of the senate. Therefore, the new administration will most likely continue exploiting the nation’s oil to enrich oligarchs, while ignoring the plight of the average citizen. Short-term, this means the economic crisis will only worsen. Medium- to long-term, this may lead to civil unrest as the population becomes fed up with excessive corruption and poverty.
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