February 8, 2020 / 9:15 AM / 18 days ago

Turkmen president promotes son to role of industry minister

ASHGABAT (Reuters) - Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov named his son Serdar as minister of industry and construction on Saturday, the gas-rich Central Asian nation’s state news agency reported.

His promotion comes less than a year after Serdar Berdymukhamedov, 38, assumed the post of a provincial governor. His rapid rise has prompted talk that the 62-year-old autocratic president is preparing him as a successor.

In his new job, as in his previous one, Serdar Berdymukhamedov is likely to oversee the ambitious project of building a new capital from scratch for the central Ahal province, which he used to head.

President Berdymukhamedov this week signed a decree allocating $1.47 billion for imports of construction materials, equipment and other items needed for the new city, an unusual move amid widespread foreign exchange shortages.

Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alexander Smith

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