Democracy, Kyrgyz-style

By Amieke Bouma   On the 27th of June, a nation-wide referendum confirmed Roza Otunbayeva as the new president of Kyrgyzstan. The referendum was endorsed by most international actors, despite the fact that they had not sent any observers. This was deemed too dangerous due to the violent situation in the south of the country. The relative calm during the referendum therefore obviously caused relief. Only a week before, I had also been astonished by the quiet situation in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek. Ethnic violence was raging between the Kyrgyz and the large Uzbek minority living in the Ferghana valley in the …

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