President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey are not the most popular leaders in the world today, but they are certainly popular with each other. Their mutual affinity is not just the result of personal chemistry, it also stems from a shared craving for unchecked power.
The mercury is rising in Uzbekistan now that spring has arrived, yet the political temperature remains cool in advance of a presidential election March 29. Uzbekistan may suffer from a variety of political, social and economic ills, but election fever has never gripped this Central Asian state.
In announcing that Georgia’s parliamentary elections would take place October 1, President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration affirmed its commitment to conduct what one official said would be an “exemplary” vote. New technologies are helping election monitors hold officials to such pledges, but they still have limitations, experts say.
During the past month, several Armenian government officials either resigned or were dismissed by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, including high-ranking figures such as Armenian Police Chief Alik Sarkisian and Yerevan Mayor and Presidential Chief of Staff Karen Karpetyan. There are also indications in Armenian media that the wave of dismissals and resignations will continue.
With its presidential election on October 30, Kyrgyzstan will make history as the first post-Soviet Central Asian nation to experience a transfer of power via the ballot box. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the process will be peaceful.