If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, if Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is re-elected in Turkmenistan this February, I’m moving to Papua New Guinea.
I know I’m not alone. Dozens, if not a hundred of #NeverBerdimuhamedows have come out to our rallies and 5K walk/runs over the past few months, and it’s time to finally declare that his re-election will be the final straw.
Sure Papua New Guinea has some of the most dangerous volcanoes on Earth, but no natural disaster can come close to the harm Berdimuhamedow has bestowed on the great people of Turkmenistan these past ten years.
The success of Turkmenistan has always lied in our isolation (also gas and oil). But now, now President Berdimuhamedow has begun to authorize free and uncensored web access in Ashgabat, and this appears to be only the beginning. We didn’t know about Kardashians or Bill Cosby, and that was fine with us. We’re Turkmen for Christ’s sake.
He’s also extended compulsory education from nine to ten years and re-introduced classes in sports and foreign languages into the curriculum. Berdimuhamedow’s administration has even announced plans to open several specialized schools for the arts. What the hell is going on here?! There’s even rumors that he’s going to remove the ban on video games, listening to car radios and long hair on men. What are we savages?! Thank goodness his administration still fires and prosecutes journalists for presenting views inconsistent with his regime and the totalitarian ideology. I’ll give him some points for that, but not much. And, while I’m frustrated that he imprisoned our Kickstarter campaign manager, I do respect his adherence to Sharia law in doing so.
In the old days however, Gurbanguly would be taken out into the Caspian Sea and made an example of, but not today. Complete totalitarianism under former President Niyazov was simple, it was clean. Break the law, get stoned, praise any other god, get stoned, be a minority, get stoned. Easy Peezy! Berdimuhamedow’s Turkmenistan is complicated, it reeks of Western civilization elitism, and we won’t stand for it. If his re-election does happen however, I’m out, off to another export dense nation, the nation of Papua New Guinea. A nation where the palm oil and crayfish flow like wine – I only assume, as wine is also banned here.
Well, my bags are packed and I’m honored to stand tall with Turkmen men (and to a much lesser extent women) to say NEVER Berdimuhamedow this February.