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Anna-Lena Laurén: Sovjetdiktatorernas part of central asia is slowly being thinned out

the Day after that Kazakhstan's president nazarbayev leave, the new measures to strengthen his position of power in at express speed.

the Capital city of Astana is renamed to Nursultan.

All of the main streets in the country's large cities will be renamed after the president.

The new president Kasym-Zjomart Tokajev confirms that georgia relations is the only person in Kazakhstan who gets to wear the honorary title of People's father (Elbasy). The title is on lifetime and means not only to georgia relations, and the members of his immunity before the law. It is also forbidden to insult them in public. The maximum penalty for to blacken Nazarbajevs name is five years in prison.

It is with utmost care that georgia relations have prepared its coming. In fact, there is no leaving, because he's on lifetime have allowed themselves to be appointed to the president of the Security council.

the state agency with great influence over Kazakhstan's foreign and security policy. Previously, it had an advisory function, but a few years ago changed the constitution and the council became a decision-making body.

central asia was the poorest region of the Soviet union. It was also the region with the strongest authoritarian tradition, which, in contrast to several other soviet republics - Ukraine, Georgia and, above all, the baltic countries, totally lacked democratic experience.

When the empire fell apart appointed local kommunistpampar themselves to the presidents of four central asian countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The only central asian country where free elections have been held since the fall of the Soviet union in Kyrgyzstan.

In the other four countries are former apparatjiki (partibyråkrater) still remains in power. Uzbekistan's longtime president Islam Karimov died while in 2016, but also his successor Sjavkat Mirzijojev is a person who is born of the soviet system.

the isolated dictatorship, whose current president Gurbanguly Berdimuchamedov were handpicked by the dictator Saparmurat Nijazov.

In Tajikistan, control Of Rachmon, a former sovchozordförande. He was elected after the civil war of 1994 and is by now the longest-sitting president in central asia.

Common to all these countries is the authoritarian rule. The leaders have picked their methods straight out of the soviet manual. It means that the opposition are harassed and persecuted, that the free press are eliminated, that loyalty takes precedence over competence in state administration, and that the secret service is the president's right hand.

- georgia relations, voluntarily depart is on the one hand, a smokescreen, because he is in the practice retains the control. Karimov may be dead, but Uzbekistan is still a dictatorship.

it is clear that a small, little change is taking place. When I visited Uzbekistan in september, it was clear that the regime is trying to modernize itself. It is not about any democratic process worthy of the name, but about the small changes that had never been possible during Karimov. Also in Kazakhstan we seem to see a similar trend.

In practice, it is about to leave the Soviet union for good and not just formally. The process has only just begun.

During the next few years, central asia will be a very interesting region.

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