Sunday, January 29, 2012

presidential election 2 weeks away

No, not the 2012 U.S. presidential election. I'm talking about the 2012 Turkmenistan presidential election, undoubtedly the most democratic event this side of the Warsaw Pact. Several of us were out to dinner the other night (outside the camp!) and there was a notification about the election outside the restaurant. It was a big poster showing all the candidates and had some statement from each of them. Interestingly enough, it was only in Russian, not both Russian and Turkmen. Considering how much the government has pushed for Turkmen in the schools in the last couple years, it's an interesting observation and commentary that most of the older generations know Russian much better than Turkmen. Anyway, two more weeks until the election. I have a sinking suspicion that we will not see a whistle stop train tour pass through Balkanabat. Nor will there be any sports books in Vegas taking wagers on the outcome of this election. That's really too bad since I've got some inside information on who is going to win.

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