Turkmenistan President Niyazov dies of heart condition

File:Saparmurat Niyazov 9may2005.jpg

President Niyazov in May 2005
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

President Niyazov of Turkmenistan had declared himself to be "President For Life" in 1999 after his last elected victory in 1992 and had not selected a successor. His reign in Turkmenistan led to 21 years of relative peace within the country, but was not welcoming of diverse opinions and viewpoints throughout the culture.

Most opponents to his regime left the country over the last two decades as President Niyazov centralized his authority over the nation. His rule over Turkmenistan came after years of service in the Communist Party of the USSR (c.f. [1]).