“Democracy” in Kyrgyzstan – Part I

Over two weeks ago, I was reading through 117 applications, these are some of the observations that were made in some of the Project Statements. 

When marketing Kyrgryzstan to the rest of the world it is touted as “the islet of democracy” among the other CARS (Central Asian Republics) of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, etc.  The irony of that slogan is that while Kyrgyzstan at over 5 million people is small like an islet, it is really land-locked and suffers from severe problems of transition on micro- meso- and macro- levels.

One 27 year old married female from Bishkek who studies Law admitted that she is a “real patriot and a true citizen” of her native land. She wrote, “Kyrgyzstan is in a transitional state and continues to move from Soviet totalitarian government toward a more independent and sovereign country.”  Much potential resides in the peoples’ patriotic feelings, their knowledge and education but the pace of this evolution is long and slow, hard work.  The second way proved to be more radical with revolution. Yes, in the case of Kyrgyzstan, education is very important for its future if we look to the recent events after March 24, 2005, the Tulip revolution.  

One 28 year old single male who plans to study more in Public Policy wrote, “In my country of Krygyzstan one can observe enormous numbers of rallies and protests during the last 4-5 years.  Obviously, then, we have been ‘enjoying’ the full rights of one of the world’s ‘leaders’ in the development of street politics.  The basic and primary challenge is the lack of mechanisms for providing sustainability.  However, Uzbekistan was not able to sustain what began as their well known Andijan events in 2005.  Unfortunately, it resulted in a massive influx of asylum seekers into Kyrgyzstan.  UNHCR Field mission exists in Osh to protect such refugees.      


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