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Covid-19 and the Politics of Authoritarianism in Central Asia

In this article, we compare the differing responses of the five Central Asian republics to Covid-19. We pay particular attention to how the virus presents opportunities to strengthen authoritarian rule within the region: for authoritarian regimes, the virus offers an opportunity to suppress dissent and strengthen authoritarian norms. While authoritarian states have recognised the spread of the virus in order to receive international humanitarian assistance, they have hidden the true number of infected and victims of the disease, as well as forbidding doctors to talk about the dangerous working conditions in hospitals, and imprisoning citizens for spreading false information.

By Edward Lemon and Oleg Antonov No Comments on Covid-19 and the Politics of Authoritarianism in Central Asia

Tajikistan’s Fake Election

Unsurprisingly, the ruling People’s Democratic Party, won Tajikistan’s parliamentary elections on March 1, 2020. The election campaign was a muted affair. No previous Tajik election has been judged free and fair by legitimate international observers. The Central Election Commission stated that the elections were open and transparent, and reported that it received no reports of violations. But independent observers reported a slew of violations, including ballot stuffing and proxy voting.

By Edward Lemon and Oleg Antonov No Comments on Tajikistan’s Fake Election