Policy Memos

The Third Restart: Challenges for Democracy in Post-Bakiyev Kyrgyzstan

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In April 2010, the second president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was ousted from power after bloody clashes between authorities and protesters. He finally settled in Belarus, following the trajectory of his predecessor Askar Akayev, who ended up in Moscow after the Tulip Revolution of 2005. Opposition leaders, most of whom served under both Akayev and Bakiyev, established an “interim government” and promised to develop a system that would prevent rule by one person or family. The successful ouster of a corrupt authoritarian leader—the second time in five years—once again revitalized hopes that Kyrgyzstan has indeed put an end to authoritarianism and corruption. Doubts persist, however, about whether the Kyrgyz elite, and society in general, will be able to develop a viable alternative political system governed by law and democratic values. [...]

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About the author

Marie Curie Fellow
University of St. Andrews, Scotland