Berdymukhamedov, Kurbanguly

Berdymukhamedov, Kurbanguly kho͞orbängo͞olēˈ bârdāˌmo͞okämĕdˈôf [key], 1957–, Turkmen government official, president of Turkmenistan (2007–). A dentist (grad. Turkmen State Medical Institute, 1979), he was named head of the ministry of health's dentistry center and dean of the dentistry faculty at the State Medical Institute in 1995. In 1997 he was appointed minister of health, and in 2001 he became deputy chairman of the council of ministers. As health minister he implemented changes (decreed by President Niyazov) to the health services that severely deteriorated national health care. After Niyazov died in 2006, Berdymukhamedov was appointed acting president; he was elected to the post in 2007 in balloting that was generally regarded as rigged. He subsequently established a self-glorifying personality cult (as had his predecessor), and was reelected in an essentially uncontested elections in 2012 and 2017. In 2016 he secured constitutional amendments that lengthened the president's term and abolished presidential the age limit.

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