The singing president who disappeared

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Manage episode 240141595 series 1897284
By BBC and BBC World Service. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Turkmenistan's authoritarian president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow mysteriously vanished for a few weeks, while his country faced economic crisis. Then he reappeared. What happened? Ed Butler asks what is going in this Central Asian nation, considered one of the world's most secluded after North Korea. The president's life and superhuman deeds normally dominate state television, so did his brief disappearance from the airwaves herald ill health or a fall from power? If so, who might succeed him? And how will any new leader tackle the gas-rich country's cash crisis and food shortages? The programme includes interviews with Bruce Pannier of Radio Free Europe, Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch, Ruslan Myatiev of Turkmen.news, and Adam Hug of the Foreign Policy Centre. (Picture: Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow performs his song Karakum on state television; Credit: Hronika Turkmenistana via YouTube)

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