Month: June 2014

US troops abandon Manas airbase, airbase for sale

Irregularities, kickbacks and other forms of abuse from beginning to end – that is the main legacy the mighty US’s war heroes are likely to leave behind as they abandon the Manas Airbase near Bishkek in early summer. Both in Kyrgyzstan and in America investigations into parts of the long story are still ongoing – officially, that is. For the entire true story is unlikely to ever be revealed in detail.   The US base was opened in 2001 as Washington waged war on Afghanistan, considered the headquarters where the plan for the September 11 attack on US targets...

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Kyrgyz general elections 2015: parliamentary polls or family contest?

Kyrgyzstan is a parliamentary democracy, as confirmed in its present-day constitution. It is thereby the only one of its type south of the Himalaya. The so-called presidential democracy was abolished in 2010 after two heads of state had subsequently fallen down because wielding too much power had made them too big for their boots. But the tendency towards collective rule rather than authoritarian has much deeper roots in Kyrgyz society than just “post-Soviet”. This is something that should constantly be kept in mind when following election campaigns and polls’ results.   The tradition of councils, consisting of tribal (secular)...

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