Polling Uzbek Style

by Nathan Hamm on 8/23/2005 · 2 comments

Seriously, reading stuff like this lately has made reading Uzbek news more and more like reading Turkmen news (though the competition is getting stiffer).

Asked about the main achievements of attaining the independence, over 80% of the respondents said peace and stability, 90% said international recognition of Uzbekistan and 88% said peace and accord among nations and confessions in the society.

That seems weird. How many “main achievements” did each respondent pick? (To me “main” suggests each person picks one, but apparently they didn’t.)

Not at all coincidentally I’m sure, all of the above just happen to be some of the Uzbek government’s policy fetishes. (Am I the only one who finds the government’s extreme concern with being noticed a sign of insecurity?)

Some other findings of the totally scientific and absolutely true poll:

Among other achievements were named high level of citizens’ participation in the state management process (80%), and ensuring human rights and freedoms (75%), including freedom of expression and thought (76%), conscience and religious assembly (90%).

The poll confirmed the high level of trust of the population to the country’s President, which has been increasing over the years. 92,8% said they considered the President as the main guarantor of stability and solution of problems the country faces, compared to 91,2% in 2004 and 91% in 2003.

I know I’ve often said that I find Uzbeks more supportive of their government and its policy priorities (while also being highly critical at the same time) than most Westerners realize, but the above is just ridiculous.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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david_walther August 23, 2005 at 1:15 pm

I hate to think of what happened to those 10-20% of people who said the wrong thing…

I love living in a country where everyone is happy and nothing ever goes wrong. And where everyone has three opinions at once. That’s how good it is here.

By the way, Uzbekistan has officially graduated from “becoming a great country” to official status as “The Great Republic.” I flew in from Russia last week and as you leave the airport, there’s (apparently a new sign, though usually I arrive at night so maybe I never noticed it before) a big sign with photos of ancient architectural monuments (and the NBU building of course) with the caption, “The Great Republic”.

So the signs go… “Welcome to Uzbekistan,” “The Great Republic” and then they translate oq yo’l “Good Luck.”

I think we all could use a little luck here.

Brian August 23, 2005 at 1:55 pm

The NBU building’s great. Without the NBU building and the Uz-Daewoo factory, Uzbek media would lose half their things to talk about and show.

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