Turkmenistan: President fires interior minister, orders anti-corruption drive

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has fired Interior Minister Isgender Mulikov for wrongdoings and corruption.

Berdymukhammedov fired Mulikov, who had served since May 2009, during a cabinet meeting on October 1.

The move came moments after Prosecutor-General Batyr Atdaev gave a speech that included allegations of wrongdoing by Mulikov, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported.

Mulikov’s driver was immediately arrested and some of the minister’s business interests, which include several restaurants, cafes, and shops in Ashgabat, were confiscated.

Accusations of corruption at the Interior Ministry and among Turkmenistan’s judicial authorities have long been seen as a problem.

Berdymukhammedov, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since the death of his autocratic predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, in December 2006, attempted to clean up the sector in 2017 when he dismissed the prosecutor-general.

Berdymukhammedov also formally reprimanded Mulikov at the time, citing corruption among police officials.

The Turkmen president also ordered the State Security Council and the Mejlis (Parliament) to draft a new edition of the Anti-corruption and anti-bribery program, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported on October 1.

According to the Turkmen leader, this document has to include a set of measures of organizational, economic, legal and personnel character.

The president highlighted that the main objectives of the program is to eliminate root causes and conditions of bribery and corruption.

Sergey Kwan

TCA