Meet the New Boss

For 21 years, Turkmenbashi (Father of the Turkmen) Saparmurat Niyazov kept the central Asian state of Turkmenistan under a bizarre and brutal dictatorship that fought dissent and infectious diseases simply by outlawing both. Niyazov's death from cardiac arrest in late December came as a shock to his 5 million subjects, who had never realized that "Presidents for Life" die, too. Now, six contenders are running in the first presidential election in 15 years scheduled for Feb. 11.

Who are the front-runners? Five out of six contenders are figureheads whose job is to make the election look presentable, observers...

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