The sense of tranquility in a sleepy village near Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s southern capital, was shattered by an election campaign van blaring out patriotic songs as it jostled for space with a herd of cows.
With the campaign before October 4 parliamentary polls wrapping up, the 14 parties in the running have been making their last pitches to an electorate that seems impressed less by razzmatazz than reassurances of continuity.
“If only it all passes off quietly,” sighed Koldashbay Taylakov, a pensioner observing the Butun Kyrgyzstan-Emgek (All Kyrgyzstan-Labor) party vehicle trundling through the village of VLKSM on October 2. The village still bears its Soviet-era name, which is the acronym for the young communists’ league.
To read the full story
Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.