Kyrgyzstan: Revolution Revisited
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Shairbek Juraev
Research Program Coordinator,
Institute of Public Policy,

"People's attitude towards the government has changed; they no longer treat it as something sacred and unreachable . . . This is shown by the fact that every day we have two to three demonstrations, with or without reason. The protesters ask sometimes for something . . . like specific reforms or small issues like the dismissal of a regional hospital's deputy chief physician. The people have a feeling that once you walk outside, the government will bow to you. This did not happen before . . . This is the main thing that has changed, and we feel it every day.

What has not been done? All who witnessed this change of government expected that the new government would design a new strategy for the country's economic and political development, but we do not see it. There is no written, consistent program of development because everyone sees government as a temporary place where you take what you have time to take. This can lead to a lot more drastic consequences than during the presidency of [Askar] Akayev because the painful issues are [already] open and the lack of policy might lead to a rather extreme situation.

Inter-ethnic relations are tense. Ethnic identity is taking on importance compared to what it was before. This is all based on the fact that the population is poor. The employment rate is terribly low.

One of the solutions would be real work performed by the government towards ensuring economic stability, employment and political stability. If the population would have a place to go to earn money, nobody would take part in these daily meetings, in going out on the streets, demanding official status for [their] language [Uzbek], which is an artificial idea thrown at the people because they are ready to take it.

If the government does not learn its lessons from what happened to Akayev . . .I do not think it will last for long. "

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