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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkmen President's Powers Defined

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan published a law Wednesday spelling out the president's powers and duties -- a first for the country whose late leader, Saparmurat Niyazov, ruled with an iron fist.

The law, printed in the government newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan, says the president has the right to name the Cabinet, the armed forces' top officers and, with the legislature's approval, the Supreme Court's chief justice, interior minister and prosecutor general. It also spells out the rules for removing presidents, a rule that appeared aimed at restricting the possibility of future leaders being named "president for life." Now, Turkmen presidents can be removed only by the country's parliament. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's spokesman refused to explain why the law was published Wednesday, saying: "I cannot comment on this. Read the newspaper, it's all there."