Friday, 16 February 2007

Lunatic elected President of Turkmenistan

A handsomely coiffured lunatic was sworn in as president of Turkmenistan yesterday after winning 89% of last Sunday's popular vote. The new president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, used to be the personal dentist of the previous dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov, who died last December. Mr Niyazov, who styled himself Turkmenbashi, or Father of the Turkmen, had previously been considered the most deranged and authoritarian national leader on the planet, known for renaming the month of January after himself and April after his mother, closing all hospitals outside the capital and banning gold teeth and lip-synching.
Reaction to the new president was mixed in the main square in Ashgabat, the country's capital. "I worship the new president as a god!" said one old man who declined to give his name. "We could all just die of happiness, and probably will!" said another.
A common concern was expressed by a passing taxi driver: "We are a dirt poor predominantly Muslim socialist dictatorship with the world's fifth largest reserves of natural gas. How long can it be before Chavez, Ahmedinejad and that London mayor come sniffing around?"
"And don't get me started on Bush," he added.

Bullingdon Clubbers