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Kyrgyzstan

Yearbook 1998

Kyrgyzstan. From the New Year, the death penalty in Kyrgyzstan was abolished. In March, Kubanjchbek Djumaljev was appointed new prime minister and in April the government was heavily reformed. According to Countryaah, the intention was stated to be to speed up economic and political reforms. Shortly thereafter, the World Bank approved several loans intended, among other things. for land reform.

1998 Kyrgyzstan

In May, some 30 activists from the Uyghur people in Xinjiang Province in western China, bordering Kyrgyzstan, were arrested in Kyrgyzstan. Uyghur separatists aim to reestablish an Islamic state in the East Turkestan.

In northeastern Kyrgyzstan, 20 tonnes of sodium cyanide was dispersed in the Barskoon River during the summer following a traffic accident. Hundreds of poisoned people were taken to hospitals and three people were reported to have died of poisoning.

In July, the Constitutional Court granted President Askar Akajev the right to stand for a third term in the 2000 presidential election despite the Kyrgyz Constitution's clause for a maximum of two periods. Akajev has been elected only once since the law came into force in 1993. The opposition leader appealed to the court to change his decision.

In October, more than 90% of voters in a referendum said yes to the privatization of land. The result was a success for President Akajev in his conflict with Parliament and means that small farmers become owners of the land they use.

In November, Kyrgyzstan strengthened the military guarding of the border with Tajikistan, where civil war took place.

In December, President Askar Akajev deposed the nine-month-old government, which he blamed for the country's financial failures. Parliament appointed Jumabek Ibraimov as new prime minister.

Empowerment

Kyrgyzstan became an independent republic on 31 August 1991. The political landscape is characterized by ancient divides between the north and the south and between clans and peoples groups. A main distinction is between Kyrgyz people in the north and ethnic Uzbeks in the south, where Islamists have gained a certain degree.

From the mid-1990s, Akajev's board became increasingly authoritarian and corrupt. The president was allowed to extend his powers by referendums that were allegedly manipulated.

At the October 2000 presidential election, Akajev was re-elected for a third five-year term. The regime claimed that it had received nearly 75 percent of the vote, but international observers complained of widespread electoral fraud. At the same time, there was considerable dissatisfaction in the population due to financial difficulties in the country. Opposition leader Felix Kulov was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2002, and shortly afterwards his colleague Azimbek Beknazarov was arrested, leading to bloody riots involving at least six victims and many arrests in southern Jalalabad province. Occasional unrest also occurred over the next few years.

In the economic field, Kyrgyzstan has chosen more Western models than its neighboring countries. The country joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in 1992, and encouraged by these organizations, Kyrgyzstan emerged from the ruble zone in May 1993 as the first state in Central Asia and introduced its own currency, which. Somen's course has been relatively stable despite weak developments in Kyrgyzstan's economy, primarily thanks to support from the IMF and, to some extent, substantial foreign investment. In the mid-1990s, Kyrgyzstan was designated as the leading reform country in Central Asia.

Kyrgyzstan has great development potential in terms of hydropower. During Akajev's Norwegian visit in 2003, an agreement was signed to make use of Norwegian expertise. It was pointed out here that both countries have exploitable resources of about 150 terawatt hours (TWT). While Norway has used about 90 percent of its resources, Kyrgyzstan has so far only utilized 10 percent. Since the Prime Minister's visit, extended Norwegian assistance has been provided, including for police training.

Compared to the population, Kyrgyzstan has received three times as much support and investment from the West as any other country in the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the country's foreign debt in 2013 exceeded USD 3.8 billion, more than the country's GDP. The country has rich deposits of valuable minerals, and Canadian interests are heavily engaged in the country's gold industry. Several major financial scandals have been linked to these investments, and Kyrgyzstan remains one of the poorest new states in Central Asia. More than half of the population is classified as poor in international statistics.

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