Marat Tazabekov, a journalist and publisher of the Kyrgyz news service AKI press, discusses political and economic reform in Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyz opposition desires the resignation of the Akaev regime. After crackdowns, blatant restrictions of media freedoms, and a growing possibility of civil war, one would expect the United States to rush to the aid of Kyrgyzstan. Rather, it seems that the U.S. involvement in the country looks to do nothing more than preserve the status quo.
The five states of Central Asia raise fundamental questions about the process of democratization in post-Soviet states and in the Muslim world more generally. In light of recent developments, the expectation of remaining as part of the region's Soviet heritage must now be incorporated with both nationalist and Islamic agendas that exist in Central Asia in order for democracy to have a chance.
Kyrgyzstan is really coming to a turning point. Any further deterioration in its political conditions will justifiably earn it the label of an authoritarian state. Many already consider it to be one, although most would grant that it is the softest of the region's authoritarian regimes.
The Process of democracy building in Kyrgystan has faltered. Kyrgyzstan must open up again politically and work toward greater economic transparency both through the creation of an independent judiciary and through a more directed and far reaching campaign against corruption.
The challenges of consolidating statehood which lie before the states of Central Asia and the Caucasus in the immediate future,are likely to be shaped by the peculiarities of the relationships of these states to Russia, and what strategic consequence this might have from the US.
"Armed incursions into Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan by radical Islamists whose declared aim is to establish a religious state in Central Asia have sent shock waves through Central Asia and have drawn as much international attention to the region as any issue since independence."
The fundamental problem of all post-communist states is corruption, or the misuse of public power of private gain. This is an inheritance of the lawless socialist state. The task is to establish a new state, replete with sound laws and norms. Kyrgyzstan has already accomplished much of this task, but many measures remain to be undertaken in the governance of the state.
The main reason why democracies have not developed in Central Asia is that the region's leaders don't want them to. However, the region's rulers would like us to believe that the failure of democracy-building in the region is a good thing, not a bad one.
Throughout the former Soviet Union, people are dissatisfied with the standard of living and corruption. Contrary to what people in Kyrgyzstan tend to think, Kyrgyzstan comes out pretty well on most accounts.