Houston Chronicle – Turkmenistan’s authoritarian leader has proven he doesn’t only win elections easily, coming first in a car race he wasn’t even supposed to take part in.
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov drove to the racing track in a Bugatti sports car Saturday morning ostensibly to give his blessing to the former Soviet Central Asian nation’s maiden automotive competition.
While an event presenter introduced the president, he received a request nobody in Turkmenistan would be likely turn down. “Can I take part?” Berdymukhamedov asked.
The apparently choreographed display appears to be another episode in an ongoing state project to cast the president as an effortlessly competent man of action.