Central Asia: April 4, 2005


The overthrow of  Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev has failed. No, Akayev has not returned. Actually, he has formally resigned, and is negotiating to determine how much of what he stole from the country he can keep. Other politicians, just as corrupt as Akayev, have taken his place.  The problem is that power, and politics, is still dominated by tribe and clan relationships. Akayev's clan lost out, and others moved in to take over his properties and powers. This should be no surprise, as the name of the country, Kyrgyzstan, means "Land of the 40 Clans." Democracy advocates, largely an urban minority, have not given up, but they have a new respect for the power of custom and tradition. New elections will be held, and the pro-democracy minority will try to overcome clan loyalties to elect people who are more concerned with the entire country than just their clan. 


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