President Berdymukhamedov Reshuffled His Cabinet
President Berdymukhamedov fired Rozmyrat Seitkuliev from his post of Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers; Shadurdy Alalov from the position of the Chairman of State Committee for TV, Radio, and Cinematography: Sakhetmyrad Mammedov from the position of the Chairman of Turkmengaz State Concern; Arslan Yagshimammedov from the position of the Utilities Minister, all “for shortcomings in work.” Berdymukhamedov removed Deputy Head of Balkan District in charge of education, culture, healthcare, and sports, Maisa Saryeva, from her current position due to the transfer to another unnamed job. Berdymukhamedov relieved Minister of Economy and Development, Biashimmyrat Hojamammedov, from his current post due to the transfer to another unnamed job. Berdymukhamedov removed Chairman of the Board of the Garagum Bank, Rovshen Nuriagdyev, from his current position due to the transfer to another unnamed job. President Berdymukhamedov transferred Durdyly Durdylyev from his positions as Deputy Finance Minister and Deputy Manager of Turkmenistan’s Monetary Fund, to a new appointment as Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Control Chamber. Berdymukhamedov shuffled other staff in government at the local level, dismissing and transferring staffing on the district and municipal level as well.
Berdymukhamedov’s Former Competitor Appointed as Head of Turkmengaz
Kakageldi Abdyllaev, who ran in the last presidential elections against President Berdymukhamedov, was named head of the State Concern Turkmengaz replacing Sakhetmyrad Mammedov who was fired “for shortcomings in his work.” During the elections Abdyllaev won less than one percent of the vote.
Failure at Mary Power Plant Left Eastern Regions without Electricity
A failure at a power plant in the eastern town of Mary over the New Year holiday knocked out half the plant’s capacity, leaving many in Turkmenistan’s eastern provinces without electricity. In Mary, the country’s fourth-largest city, power was provided only intermittently over a three-day period. Many kindergartens and schools lost heating, and people had to cook their food outside with firewood and small kerosene stoves. The Mary power plant also creates export electricity for neighbors Afghanistan and Iran. The crisis has caused Berdymukhamedov to reprimand the energy minister and fire the deputy head of the emergency situations committee. He also fired Mary power plant chief Altymyrat Gurbangeldiyev.
Turkmenistan to Adopt Law on Internet Services Control
In 2012, Turkmenistan’s Parliament will continue to develop its laws on mass media, focusing on regulating internet services, according to 12 News Information Agency citing the Chairman of Turkmenistan’s Parliament Committee on Science, Education, and Culture, Vladimir Gubanov. According to the report, the Turkmen parliament has been receiving consultation and assistance in international experience on this type of legislation from the European Union, OSCE mass media department, and OSCE Center in Ashgabat.