Wednesday, March 23, 2005

An uprising for democracy

Earlier in the month, Kyrgyzstan held a typical Central Asian sham election, characterised by widespread vote-buying, intimidation, and fraud. The opposition was outraged by this parody of democracy, and took to the streets. Now the protests seem to have grown into something more serious: a full-fledged uprising for democracy. Towns have been taken over, government buildings and police stations seized, and troops called out. Fortunately no-one has been killed... yet.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out - whether we will see another democratic revolution (though more violent than those of Ukraine or Georgia), or another brutal crackdown. It will also be interesting to see how the US reacts; Kyrgyzstan is an ally in the "war on terror", and they may react with disfavour to such instability - even when it is in the cause of demcracy.


William Blum has a nice meditation on the meaning and practice of democracy:

Posted by Anonymous : 3/23/2005 01:49:00 PM