Son succeeds father as Turkmenistan’s new president

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Turkmenistan’s new president pledged on Saturday to continue the tightly-controlled country’s political course, including international neutrality, at an inauguration ceremony confirming the Central Asian state’s father-son leadership transition. Official results showed Serdar Berdymukhamedov, 40, winning last Saturday’s ballot with 73 percent of the vote, beating eight token candidates. It marked the beginning of a new era after 64-year-old Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov announced plans to step down last month. Donning a giant golden chain of office in a ceremony rich with pomp, the younger Berdy…

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