On September 26, 2008, the 2500-member People's Council of Turkmenistan adopted a new constitution, which envisioned a new multi-party political process and placed limits on presidential power following the death of longtime autocrat Saparmurat Niyazov in December 2006. Specifically, the constitution created a 125-seat elected legislature and mandated five-year presidential terms. Political reforms began in Turkmenistan shortly after the country was accused of human rights abuses in March 2007.
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