By Arslan Sabyrbekov (the 08/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On January 7, Kyrgyzstan's Grand Mufti Rakhmatulla-Hajji Egemberdiev stepped down amid a scandal over a sex video posted on local websites on New Year’s Eve. The country’s spiritual leader had personally submitted his resignation to the Council of Ulemas (Religious Clerics), stating that it was an inhumane act with the objective of damaging his dignity and called on President Atambayev to intervene and protect his rights. Egemberdiev is now the sixth mufti replaced in Kyrgyzstan over the past four years amid different scandals.
By Arslan Sabyrbekov (the 11/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Bishkek mayor Isa Omurkulov resigned on December 4, two days after an investigation into alleged abuse of office charges were filed against him by the Kyrgyzstan’s Prosecutor General. During the press conference, Omurkulov stated to the public that his decision to step down was unrelated to the probe, but declined to specify the concrete reasons for his resignation.
By Stephen Blank (the 27/11/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Kazakhstan joined the Customs Union with Belarus and Russia in 2010 and by 2012, it had evolved into a single Eurasian Economic Space known also as EurAsEc. The economic union is Putin’s principal foreign policy goal and Ukraine in the West and Kazakhstan in the East are particularly important to the success of this enterprise. Yet, while Ukraine was poised to instead sign a trade agreement with the EU at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29, it has stopped preparing for that signing ceremony, evidently succumbing to Russian pressure. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan has now registered increasingly vocal complaints about the direction EurAsEc is taking.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.