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Political News From Uzbekistan

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Over the past few weeks I've noticed an increase in the number of stories about the Uzbek political situation and prognostications on the future of the country. I've been following Uzbek politics for 15 years, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that Uzbek politics are opaque. There is no other word that sufficiently describes this. What I've read on the websites has been pure speculation by outsiders, which is a highly unreliable source for information. Without having any numbers to crunch, I would dare say that 99.99% of these stories are based on creativity and hearsay.

The Uzbek political scene is run by a tight-knit group of people who are very loyal to the power structure. Very rarely will an outside political observer (e.g. journalist) have access to meetings, learn what was discussed, or even the results of the discussion. Above all, one never hears of a "leak" to the media. In other words, nobody talks to journalists to divulge information about the current administration.

So as you're reading about politics in Uzbekistan, remember that most of the information is highly biased and and slanted against the current leadership. I'm not saying that I'm against a vibrant media that actively pursues the truth and holds government officials accountable for their actions. What I am saying is that reporting accurately on the political situation in Uzbekistan is nearly impossible.

So keep that in mind as you read the reports.


Posted by Greg Stephenson at 6:45 AM No comments:

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