ALMATY (Reuters) - Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's Democratic Party has nominated him as a candidate in the February 2017 election, the state news agency reported late on Wednesday. He is widely expected to secure a third term in office.

Berdymukhamedov has run the gas-rich nation of 5 million people since 2006, succeeding president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov who died the same year. Like his autocratic predecessor, Berdymukhamedov maintains tight control over the former Soviet republic and brooks no dissent.

Berdymukhamedov was re-elected in 2012 with 97 percent of the vote. Turkmenistan amended its constitution in September in a way that could allow Berdymukhamedov to stay in power indefinitely.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


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