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Turkmenistan’s president fires minister over graft probe

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan’s president has fired his interior minister after the nation’s chief prosecutor presented a report accusing Interior Ministry officials of corruption. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signed a decree ousting Interior Minister Isgender Mulikov, who is accused of abuse of office.

Berdymukhamedov said in televised remarks on Wednesday that he had reprimanded Mulikov many times but the minister failed to correct problems. The president says he ordered the addition of more prosecutors and told his security council to draft plans for an anti-corruption program. He said corruption stymies Turkmenistan’s economic growth.

Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian nation since 2006 through an all-encompassing cult of personality that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,’ or protector. He is frequently shown on state TV dressing down government officials.

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