Monday, December 22, 2014

Elections in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is still ruled by the same man who was in charge of the Uzbek SSR before the Soviet Union collapsed, Islam Karimov. Since the collapse of the USSR and the creation of an independent Uzbek state he has ruled it in a completely authoritarian manner. This isn't surprising for Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is the only state in the region that has ever had any success with democratic procedures and institutions. But, what strikes me as hilarious is that just as during the Soviet era that the regime in Uzbekistan feels the need to go through the charade of elections that it pretends are democratic. The news is reporting an 88% voter turn out for the its parliamentary elections yesterday. Furthermore the Shanghai Cooperation Council (SCO) and Commonwealth of Independent States are certifying that the elections were free, fair, and democratic. The SCO consists of such "democratic" states as Kazakhstan, China, and Russia. Right now I can't stop laughing, but when I do I have some Ghanaian bridges to sell to anybody who believes that Uzbekistan really had free, fair, and democratic elections yesterday.

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