By Michael Denison (8/28/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The recent origins of the current government crackdown can be traced to the domestic political crisis of November 2001. The President's son-in-law, Rakhat Aliev, who was then the deputy head of the Committee for National Security (successor to the KGB), became embroiled in business disputes with some of the younger, ascendant figures in the government hierarchy. Aliev, who was also allegedly behind a Russian internet site critical of Nazarbayev, was believed to have overreached himself.
By Aftab Kazi and Tariq Saeedi (8/28/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The first Trilateral Steering Committee meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, to implement the intergovernmental Agreement on the Construction of Trans-Afghan gas pipeline was held in Ashgabat, July 9-10. It was welcomed by the American Deputy Chief of Mission and officials of the Asian Development Bank who participated in the meeting as observers. The ADB has agreed to invest in the feasibility study and to provide between 2 to 3 billion dollars for pipeline construction from Turkmenistan's Daulatabad gas fields to the Pakistani port of Gwadar across Afghanistan.
By Pavel Baev (8/28/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Arriving to the Kremlin in early 2000, Putin immediately ordered a diplomatic campaign aimed at dividing the Caspian Sea into national sectors. The noisy shuttle-diplomacy activities provided perfect cover for a steady build-up of Russian military muscles, and first of all the Caspian Flotilla. Despite the obvious fact of sharp disagreements between the littoral states about borders across the oil-rich waters, Moscow was sending signals that the agreement was within reach.
By Anar Valiyev (9/11/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: On June 21, the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan approved the draft bill of a referendum on the introduction of 39 changes and amendments to the Constitution, submitted by President Aliyev. The most important changes over which the referendum is believed to have been organized were the cancellation of the proportional electoral system which implied that deputies are to be elected only on the basis of single-member constituencies; the number of votes required for the election of President was reduced to simple majority whereas before two thirds of votes were required; transferring the execution of the duties of Head of State in case of the President's premature resignation to the prime minister instead of the parliamentary speaker; and to transfer authority to ban political parties from the Constitutional Court to public courts. "Time has passed.
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.