Serdar Berdimuhamedov sworn in as Turkmenistan's new president

40-year-old takes over from his father Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov as leader of Central Asian state.

Serdar Berdimuhamedov sworn in as Turkmenistan's new president

Serdar Berdimuhamedov was sworn in as Turkmenistan’s new president on Saturday, officially taking the reins of the Central Asian country from his father. 

Berdimuhamedov, who was declared the winner of the March 12 presidential election earlier this week, took oath of office at a ceremony at Rukhiyet Palace in the capital Ashgabat.

According to Turkmenistan’s Constitution, he will serve a tenure of seven years, following his father Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s stint at the country’s helm since becoming acting president in December 2006.

“Our main goal is to ensure peace and security in our beloved homeland, socioeconomic development and further improvement in the living standards of our people,” Berdimuhamedov said in his inaugural address.

He vowed to enhance social benefits for the people of Turkmenistan, saying his government will focus on issues such as income, pensions, scholarships and social assistance.

Turkmenistan will also work to promote “peace and mutual trust around the world,” he added.

The younger Berdimuhamedov, 40, secured 72.97% of votes in the election, far ahead of the nearest of his nine rivals Khyrdyr Nunnayev, who won 11%, according to official results that were announced on Tuesday after what was an unexpected delay in counting.

He was serving as deputy chairman of Turkmenistan’s Council of Ministers when his father announced the snap election last month.