All signs indicate that Uzbekistan has set off on a new and more open course since Shavkat Mirziyoyev rose to the presidency five years ago. This is especially true with the country’s foreign policy, where Tashkent has worked hard to improve relations with its neighbors. But there is also a domestic dimension. The Central Asian country’s October 24 presidential election is a reminder of both the increasingly open society in Uzbekistan as well as the restrictions from the past.
Given some of the changes domestically, the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) again monitored the presidential election in Uzbekistan. At the same time, human rights groups have claimed that the authorities have maintained restrictions on media and that some opposition leaders did not make it onto the ballot. The election is a good time to assess the changes in the heart of Central Asia since Mirziyoyev became president and where the country is headed.
Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, moderates a conversation with Navbahor Imamova, anchor, editor, and producer with Voice of America’s Uzbek Service; Dr. Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, founding director of the Center for Governing and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh and nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace; Vinayak Nagaraj, senior country economist for Uzbekistan at the World Bank; and Eldor Tulyakov, executive director of the Development Strategy Center, focusing on the outcome of Uzbekistan’s presidential election. Will Uzbekistan continue to make reforms, and will a renewed US focus on Central Asia bring new energy to constructive partnerships?
Between East and West
The Central Asian Republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan—are located at the nexus of Russia, China, South Asia, and the Middle East. Leveraging their critical geography, these nations are renewing their role as the crossroads of trade between the West and Asia—resulting in significant economic development, especially in the sectors of energy and natural resources. While moves toward reform and democracy have been made since independence in 1991, corruption and human rights issues remain prevalent throughout the region.
SouthAsiaSource Sep 15, 2021
The implications of the Taliban’s new government for Afghanistan
The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, in partnership with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, recorded a panel discussion on Tuesday, September 14 to discuss what the future holds for Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s new government and recent political developments in the country.
UkraineAlert Jul 15, 2021
Is Kazakhstan experiencing the early stages of a democratic awakening?
By Rustam Kypshakbayev
While it is too early to speak of a democratic awakening in Kazakhstan, current trends suggest that the country may be moving in that direction. This could have major repercussions for the wider region.
New Atlanticist Jun 2, 2021
The gathering threat to the US in Kyrgyzstan
By Lillian Posner
As President Sadyr Japarov takes aim at Kyrgyz and US institutions, the US has not only an opportunity but a responsibility to help with democracy-building and make sure the Kyrgyz people get the message.
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.