Kyrgyzstan - yes really!

petaljam

Moderator
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
30,681
Bit of an odd one I suppose, but there is a reason to keep an eye on this, it's one of the few ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia that seems to be on track for a peaceful democratic election of a new president next Sunday :

Kyrgyzstan set for freest and fairest election in Central Asian history

Full disclosure : I'd never heard of the place until a year ago when a friend of my son's went out there. He loves it, apparently, and there is a decent-sized foreign community settled there. Capital is Bishkek, it's a functioning democracy of sorts, it's part of the ancient Silk Road, and apart from some absolutely stunning photos of snow capped mountains and massive blue skies that we got, that's really about all I knew about it until I saw this article.

So I wondered if any of the well-travelled denizens of p.ie had ever been there, or at least knew of it. Or failing that, if anyone was interested in following the election there. From the article linked, it seems their democracy has had a rather rocky start, with several fairly violent revolutions since independence from Russia in 1991, but the last was in 2010 and they now seem to be about to transfer power peacefully for pretty much the first time in their history.

ETA : some more information about the elections:
On October 15 presidential elections will be held in Kyrgyzstan. The outcome should usher in the first regular change of president in the country’s 26 years of independence.

Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Kyrgyzstan’s first two post-Soviet presidents, were forced out of office in revolutions of 2005 and 2010. Now, after only one six-year term, current president Almazbek Atambayev will leave his post of his own volition.

Two main candidates are in the running to be Kyrgyzstan’s next president: Sooronbay Jeenbekov, a former prime minister and member of the Social Democratic Party (SDPK); and Omurbek Babanov, the leader of the Respublika party.
.
The crucial question is whether this unprecedented transition of power will bring newfound stability. The alternative is a fresh political crisis and continued stagnation.

Different parts of the Kyrgyz political elite are backing different candidates. Crucially, perhaps, Atambayev and SDPK have put forward Jeenbekov and said Sapar Isakov would be his prime minister.
https://thediplomat.com/tag/kyrgyzstan-presidential-election-2017/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41594816
 
Last edited:


petaljam

Moderator
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
30,681
TBH I'm not expecting a huge amount of interest - I imagine most people, like me until recently, have literally never heard the name of the capital in their lives.

I just find it fascinating that there are these places where people are managing to live pretty normal lives, with the same concerns as us about democracy and so on, in a region we tend to associate with dictators-for-life and guerrilla warfare.

This is going by what my son's friend has said, that the people are lovely, there are a number of western expats out there, including women, who seem to live perfectly freely there with no feeling of being under threat. Though they do seem to be involved in NGOs, with a lot of medical and other aid work, rather than business, so I don't know how developed an economy there is. But nobody seems to be starving.
 

Nedz Newt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Messages
3,403
The sanctions imposed by the Clinton regime in the wake of the break up of the Soviet Union led to a severe shortage of vowels in the country, which continues to this day....
 

petaljam

Moderator
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
30,681
Lol.

I'm still not entirely sure how to pronounce it : Kirgiztan - Kirgizistan?
 

Hibee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
1,888
The sanctions imposed by the Clinton regime in the wake of the break up of the Soviet Union led to a severe shortage of vowels in the country, which continues to this day....
Funniest post I read here ever . Maith thu.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
4,602
i know nothing about it, except that all the dozen or so countries in the approximate region are totally mental about wrestling and win a ton of medals for judo in the olympics.

i would also expect that you are never more than twenty yards away from a kalashnikov.
 

gleeful

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
7,520
I was out there in 2001 or 2. It was quite poor and the economy basically in ruins due to independence from the Soviet Union.

Not been back since but Ive heard its been gradually improving. They had a spot of race riots and a coup around 10 years ago - was hardly reported. And some US armed militants were run out of tpwn shortly after.

Glad to see they might be back from the brink.
 

petaljam

Moderator
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
30,681
i know nothing about it, except that all the dozen or so countries in the approximate region are totally mental about wrestling and win a ton of medals for judo in the olympics.

i would also expect that you are never more than twenty yards away from a kalashnikov.
I think you're right about the wrestling, but it seems you're wrong about the Kalashnikovs :

One nation which helps highlight this continued disconnect is Kyrgyzstan, which the survey pegs at 0.9 arms per 100 civilians, or 153rd on the list. The mountainous Central Asian enclave has experienced a pair of democratic revolutions over the past eight years, with 2005's Tulip Revolution overturning longtime president Askar Akayev and installing Kurmanbek Bakiyev, whose corrupt apparatus was later forced out in 2010.

A year after Bakiyev's ouster, Kyrgyzstan hosted the first Central Asian election in which the winner was not predetermined. Moreover, the nation currently maintains the best Central Asian rank within Freedom House's tabulations -- all while seeing one of the lowest rates of armed citizenry in the world.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/owning-guns-doesnt-preserve-freedom/275287/
 

petaljam

Moderator
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
30,681
Thanks.

Don't know why I thought there was an extra vowel in there somewhere.

(What were you doing out there if it's not indiscreet?)
 

gleeful

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
7,520
Thanks.

Don't know why I thought there was an extra vowel in there somewhere.

(What were you doing out there if it's not indiscreet?)
Complicated and and slightly dull reasons. Did get to travel around a bit. Lovely mountains and lakes there.
 

raetsel

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
8,376
The only thing I know about Kyrgyzstan is how to spell the bloody name!

Do I pass the exam or not?

petunia
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top