Son of Turkmen leader Serdar Berdimuhamedov wins early voting

The victory of 40-year-old Serdar Berdymukhammedov was widely expected after his father elevated him to the country’s second-best position as deputy prime minister, clearly indicating that he was the designated successor.

The gas-rich desert country of 6 million, bordered by Iran and Afghanistan to the south, has no strong political opposition groups.

There were eight other candidates in the election, some of whom were obscure low-level civil servants. According to the Turkmen constitution, the president is elected for a seven-year term.

Serdar Berdymukhammedov is commonly referred to by local media as “the son of the nation”, while his 64-year-old father, who intends to remain speaker of the upper house, is referred to as Arkadag, or Protector.

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