Turkmen president sacks energy, industry ministers

Turkmenistan's president sacked two cabinet ministers, accusing them of "unforgivable mistakes" in carrying out reforms in the gas-producing Caspian nation.

Turkmen president sacks energy, industry ministers

Turkmenistan's president sacked two cabinet ministers, the heads of the state oil and cotton firms and several other key government officials on Friday, saying they made "unforgivable mistakes" in carrying out reforms in the gas-producing Caspian nation.

President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who came to power in late 2006 promising wide-ranging reform, fired more than a dozen officials including Energy and Industry Minister Kurbannur Annaveliyev and Communications Minister Resulberdy Hojagurbanov.

"Unforgivable mistakes and miscalculations have been allowed in their work which hindered efforts to implement our possibilities," he said in televised remarks shown on Friday.

"Incompetence, lack of responsibility and negligence are all to blame here as well as direct violations by some of the managers who were driven by vested interest," he said.

The president promoted Yarmukhammed Orazgulyyev, a deputy energy and industry minister, to the minister's post, one of the most influential jobs in Central Asia's biggest natural gas exporter.

Orazdurdy Khajimuradov, a mid-ranking energy sector official, was appointed head of the state oil company Turkmenneft, replacing Karyagdy Tashliyev.

Also sacked were the head of the state cotton company and several regional leaders.

Investors watch the emergence of new senior figures in the government closely as Russia and the West compete for opportunities in Turkmenistan's vast energy sector.

The ex-Soviet nation, which has been slowly opening up to the outside world since the 2006 death of absolutist President Saparmurat Niyazov, is keen to demonstrate its willingness to conduct reforms and improve the investment climate.

"The world community is changing," said the Turkmen leader. "We have to put more effort into our work, we have to work productively, and we have to raise ourselves again to the level of top members of the global community."

Turkmenistan held parliamentary elections last month in which 90 percent of the candidates were members of the president's Democratic Party -- the only registered party -- and a few independent candidates represented state-controlled groups.

Reuters
Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2009, 16:58
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