Reshuffle for a brighter future… for Karimov himself?
Culture and History, Politics and Society, Uzbekistan6 Comments
Uzbek Parliament’s decision to pass amendment to article 90 of the Constitution, which reduces the length of Presidential term from current seven to five years, is, most probably, the sexiest topic to discuss within different levels of communities in Uzbekistan.
The honorable head of state thought that people’s attention would be drawn to the news on amnesty, not to his political decision to withdraw from the Oksaroy (the Uzbek White House). In fact, amnesty was discussed so many times that it was not an “in-trend” topic of people’s discussions.
On the other hand, political activity in Uzbekistan is so low that people do not really talk much about issues around them, being afraid for their own and relatives’ safety.
When during the 2002 referendum to prolong Presidential term from former four years to nowadays seven years, official propaganda and President himself were calling it a democratic reform to make sure the main reformer would be in power and able to realize all the ‘creative plans and aspirations of the people of Uzbekistan.’
“The practical application in our life of the matters raised in the referendum will be a worthy step in the road of further liberalization of political life. They are an important factor in improving the state administration and political system.”
President Islam Karimov’s interview to local and foreign media, January, 2002
Now, when Presidential initiative to reduce the term of office has passed the puppet Parliament, official mass media calls it a phenomenon that “reflects an objective reality, logics and consistency of the realized reforms; conrresponds with requirements of the Concept of Further Deepening the Democratic Reforms and Establishing the Civil Society in the Country that is being realized nowadays; as well as [corresponds with] the practices in an absolute majority of developed democratic countries in the world.”
So what is this? Is this reshuffle a sort of act to reduce people’s discontent with the current stagnation and regress status quo? To show them that an always-right-and-wise-patriarch decided to be the first Central Asian dictator to resign on his own?
There is no one (not cosidering fidele animals of the Karimov regime) who could guarantee that nothing affiliated with people’s revolt can take place in Uzbekistan. And Karimov knows that. By reducing the term he wisely thought of sending a signal to “his dear people” that he is not going to stay any longer after 2014 when next Presidential elections take place.
Karimov is old enough and realizes that “Even after three days fish and guest smell.” He surely both hates and loves the fact that no official photographer will dare to publish his photo without properly using photoshop, which makes him younger and more attractive to the people.
Karimov realizes that letting his replacement rule for two next term, seven years each is way too much. In that case, there will be less guarantee that current President’s family and their businesses and interests would be secured by the future regime.
By leaving on his own and assigning a shorter term for his successor, Karimov wants to remain a person whose position and political pragmatism will still be shaping politicians and their plans in tomorrow’s Uzbekistan.
Some people already call themselves “potential orphans,” defining the future of Uzbekistan as an arena of potential clashes of political, ethnic, religious groups and interests. One of them is Uzmetronom‘s Sergey Ezhkov:
“To say that this fact [of President not running for another term] became a reason for a silent or visible festivities of people, is equal to sin against the truth — it has not, actually. Probably, it is vice versa — there is a feeling of a somewhat parentlessness is in the air.”
I am not sure how many people had a sigh of relief knowing that Karimov is possibly leaving his post in a few years, but I am more than sure that they are more than those who would miss this era of a transformed Communism utopia called “O’Zbekiston Kelajagi Buyuk Davlat” — “Uzbekistan’s future is a Great Country.”