This time next year, Kyrgyzstan should have a new president-elect. The coming election is shaping up to be a unique event in Central Asia in that, unlike contests in neighboring nations, it is still difficult to call.
Early indications suggest outgoing President Almazbek Atambayev will do whatever possible to ensure the new leader does not come from rival stock.
Proliferating blast walls and security checkpoints have transformed the Afghan capital, Kabul, into a maze of concrete. Driving is increasingly arduous. Cars and mopeds carrying explosives are a serious concern – so much so that many diplomats and international contractors now avoid the roads altogether.
On November 16, officials at all levels of government broke into displays of choreographed reverence for President Emomali Rahmon, who rose through the ranks from a lowly collective farm chairman to assume the top spot in the government in the early 1990s, and over the next two-plus decades proceeded to steadily concentrate power in his hands.
“To understand the trends underlying current events in Ukraine and their impact on the world, one has to examine their roots. … The hope [is] that history can provide insights into the present and thereby influence the future.”
Leading members of the Armenian Diaspora are looking to take on a greater role in how Armenia is run. In a recent full-page ad published in The New York Times, 23 Diaspora personalities from around the world appealed to their compatriots to make “a long-term commitment toward collectively advancing” Armenia.
Demonstrating his hands-on management style, Tajikistan’s president donned a hardhat earlier this month, clambered into a bulldozer and pushed rocks into the Vakhsh River to get work started on what is slated to become the world’s highest dam.