Turkmenistan rules for indefinite presidency
Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow could stay in power indefinitely as the last legal barrier was removed on Wednesday.
Amendments to constitution were approved by the council of elders and the parliament. They were immediately signed by Berdimuhamedow. The latest changes remove the 70-year age limit for presidential candidates and extend the presidential term to seven years from five.
As the constitution didn’t establish any limits on number of president’s terms, the age limit was the only legal barrier for Berdimuhamedow. It eventually prevented the 59-year-old authoritarian ruler from running and winning one vote after another. Berdimuhamedow 's current, second term ends in 2017.
Berdimuhamedow became Turkmenistan's President after his predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov, who ruled the country since 1991, died in 2006.