Goodbye, “Era of Rebirth.” Since President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s crushing election victory earlier this month, Turkmenistan is now entering the “Era of Supreme Happiness of the Stable State.”
Life is good, reports state media.
The president’s uplifting mantra heralds “a new stage in the development of the country,” AFP cites the government Neutral Turkmenistan daily as reporting.
The slogan is a "call for our future achievements and great deeds," [the paper] added.
Berdymukhamedov was sworn in for a second term on February 17 after winning over 97 percent of the vote in elections in which his seven rival candidates appeared only too happy to let him win.
Turkmenistan is fond of giving names to periods in its post-Soviet history -- the rule of Berdymukhamedov's eccentric predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov is now known as the "golden age of the Turkmen.”
Berdymukhamedov's first term in office after Niyazov's death was known as the "era of rebirth" as he dismantled the most outrageous excesses of his predecessor, who built a revolving golden statue of himself in the capital.
The Soviets were perhaps a little smarter with their sloagans, keeping the ideal (Communist utopia) just beyond reach. Turkmen officials may struggle to come up with something better than “supreme happiness” next time Berdymukhamedov is reelected.
RFE/RL earlier reported that since being inaugurated on February 17, Berdymukhamedov has unveiled 29 members of his new cabinet, including 22 from his native Akhal Province. According to a Wikileaked US diplomatic cable, the president has something of a love affair with his ancestral region.
So in this period of “supreme happiness,” Akhal must be something like Eden.