Turk­menistan puts end to free util­i­ties

Northern News (Kirkland Lake) - - WORLD NEWS -

ASH­GA­BAT, Turk­menistan — Turk­menistan’s Pres­i­dent Gur­ban­guly Berdy­mukhame­dov has ordered an end to free nat­u­ral gas, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter, which res­i­dents of the ex-Soviet na­tion have en­joyed for a quar­ter cen­tury. Berdy­mukhame­dov said the move would en­cour­age a more ra­tio­nal use of the Cen­tral Asian na­tion’s re­sources. Tues­day’s move comes as the gas-rich desert na­tion has faced eco­nomic trou­bles be­cause of a slump in global en­ergy prices. Berdy­mukhame­dov has ruled Turk­menistan since 2006. He has es­tab­lished an elab­o­rate per­son­al­ity cult. The Turk­men par­lia­ment re­vised the na­tion’s con­sti­tu­tion to set up the Peo­ple’s Coun­cil that will take over key leg­isla­tive func­tions. At the same time, an­other or­gan, the Coun­cil of El­ders, named Berdy­mukhame­dov the Hero of Turk­menistan for the sec­ond time.

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