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Exiled Turkmen Opposition To Return Home For Elections

July 13, 2011

Leaders of Turkmenistan's exiled opposition say they plan to accept President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's invitation to return home and participate in elections next year.

Nurmukhammet Khanamov, the Vienna-based chairman of the Republican Party of Turkmenistan, and colleague Khudaiberdy Orazov said in a statement that they would need guarantees of safe passage in order to return home.

They expressed hope that their return to Turkmen political life could lead to a democratic transition, saying in a statement, "We belive this is an attempt to revise the current form of government which was inherited" from former ruler Saparmurat Niyazov.

Khanamov and Orazov were sentenced in absentia for their alleged involvement in a 2002 assassination plot against Niyazov, who was then the country's president.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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