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Election under way in Turkmenistan

Feb. 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

ASHBAGAT, Turkmenistan, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Voters in the central Asian republic of Turkmenistan went to the polls Sunday to elect a new president in their single-party political system.

Incumbent President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov was widely seen as the favorite among eight candidates, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.

He was first elected Feb. 11, 2007, after the sudden death of President Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006.

Berdymuhamedov has undone many of Niyazov's policies in the country of 5.1 million people, the report said.

The majority of the former Soviet republic's economy is centered on its vast reserves of natural gas.

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