ASHGABAT (Realist English). The candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, the son of the current President of Turkmenistan, won the presidential election. He won 72.97% of the votes, according to the website of the Turkmen Central Election Commission (CEC).
A total of nine candidates participated in the extraordinary presidential elections on March 12. Among them, the most votes were received by the vice-rector of the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports Khidyr Nunnaev — 11.09%, 7.22% of voters voted for the deputy hyakim (governor) of Mahry Velayat Aghajan Bekmyradov.
Director of the specialized secondary school of the Lebap Velayat Perhat Begenzhov and deputy of the Mejlis (lower house of parliament) Berdimammet Kurbanov scored a little more than 2%.
On February 11, President and Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who has been in office for 15 years, announced the decision to “give way to the young.” He explained that he wants to retain only the seat of the head of the upper house of parliament (Halk Maslahaty). On February 12, the country’s CEC representative Bezirgen Karayev scheduled an early presidential election for March 12. According to the plan, they should be held in 2024.
Berdimuhamedov gained power in 2006 after the death of the first president of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov. During Niyazov’s reign, a cult of his personality was established in the country, the termless right to be re-elected was approved, as well as the title of Turkmenbashi — “the head of the Turkmen”.