Political Bulletins on K.

The democratic experiment in Kyrgyzstan has thus far 
been a story of euphoric hopes and lost opportunity.”

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Kyrgyzstan at Twenty-Five: Treading Water

By Katharine Quinn-Judge, Paul Stronski, Carnegie, 21.7.2016

With its high mountain vistas and early efforts to cultivate ties with the West, Kyrgyzstan once was hailed as the “Switzerland of Central Asia” — a peaceful, multiethnic, democratic outpost of 6 million inhabitants in the midst of post-Soviet authoritarianism. Yet, for most of its twenty-five years of independence, impoverished Kyrgyzstan in reality has borne little resemblance to Switzerland, a country with high living standards, stable governance, and a generally low level of corruption. The democratic experiment in Kyrgyzstan has thus far been a story of euphoric hopes and lost opportunity. While the country could yet evolve into an island of harmonious pluralism with stable institutions and successful international relationships, global and domestic trends may be pointing Kyrgyzstan in a different direction, namely toward greater dependence on outside powers that nonetheless view it with indifference.

Since independence, the country has gone through repeated ill-fated turns away from democracy under leaders who initially appear promising, yet grow progressively corrupt and autocratic. Read the whole story

Kyrgyzstan: Corrupt, Anarchic — and Stable?

Despite its problems, Kyrgyzstan may be Central Asia’s most stable state. Here’s why.

By Christopher Schwartz and Alisher Khamidov/The Diplomat 16.8.2016

Western analysts are primed to see the negative in Central Asia, perhaps especially so in Kyrgyzstan, whose decision to break ranks with its neighbors and walk a seemingly more liberal path in 1991 raised expectations. Its dramatic political upheavals in 2005 and 2010 — the stuff of great storytelling for journalists and historians — only served to keep expectations high, if also somewhat complicating them. Thus, it is perhaps no surprise that as the country approaches its 25th anniversary of independence, anxiety looms in everyone’s minds about the country’s future: will infrastructurally, institutionally and socioeconomically weak Kyrgyzstan survive as a functioning state, much less a democratic one? Read the whole report

Constitution of Kyrgyzstan: changes guide

By Nargiza Osmonova, 24.kg news agency, 16.8.2016

Probably, there isn’t a state the authorities of which not tried to push through unpopular measures either quickly or quietly. It seems that the people in power in Kyrgyzstan have the last target, launching the initiative of holding a referendum to amend the Constitution in the summer months. But the “White House” officials have miscalculated, naively believing that the citizens will be engaged in anything, but not politics. Read the whole story

Are K.’s Leaders Serious About War on Corruption?


Recent detention of senior figures looks good but may not herald a more comprehensive drive to root out corrupt officials. The arrest of two high-profile officials on fraud charges in Kyrgyzstan has failed to convince the government’s critics that it is serious about cracking down on systemic corruption. Read the rest of the story (August 2015)

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