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“What is interesting is that this is the party which is the political [wing] of the people who already own the first private bank and the first private magazine,” Mr. Anceschi said. “It seems to me that you can see that elite is enlarging in a way in which you start to include the nonpolitical elite — in this case, the business elite — into the leading class in Turkmenistan.”

Mr. Anceschi said that the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs would be in a position to ease pressure on Mr. Berdymukhamedov’s Democratic Party by taking on some of the responsibilities involved in organizing elections and the theater of campaigning that goes with them.

“Even if you are really bad dictator, you can’t do everything yourself,” he said. “You need some kind of support.”

Jennifer Collins reported from Berlin.