International

Turkmenistan leader’s fall from horse is state secret

Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the dictator of Turkmenistan, fell off his horse shortly after “winning” a race.

Although the Turkmenistan media were full of news about his “victory,” none dared report on the fall. Whoever got this video onto the Internet did something very brave:

(I put “winning” and “victory” in quotes because from what I know about Turkmenistan, any other rider who managed to win that particular race would have faced unpleasant consequences. I can imagine the second-place rider pulling back the reins on his horse for dear life.)

It’s fascinating to watch the dozens of black-suited men swarm onto the track and surround the fallen president.

Fortunately Berdymukhamedov’s horse appears unscathed.

Berdymukhamedov was re-elected president last year with more than 97 percent of the vote.

All the other seven candidates praised the 54-year-old trained dentist in their election campaigns, prompting observers to conclude that the poll was a mere formality.

On Sunday, performers in national dress sang his praises at polling stations where food and gifts were reportedly given out to voters.

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