Over the past couple of months, accusations been levied against Poroshenko by former allies accusing him of using various informal mechanisms to exert his influence in an opaque manner. Onishenko’s recent statements make Poroshenko’s position more fragile.
In Uzbekistan, former President Islam Karimov - who died in September - played a decisive role as an arbitrator in balancing influential power players since the fall of the Soviet Union, including (temporarily) eliminating influential persons who could pose a threat to his regime. Alisher Usmanov, an ethnic Uzbek billionaire, was one of the prominent figures who did not enjoy a good relationship with the President. Certain developments around Usmanov after the death of Islam Karimov, however, indicate that he might be back on stage in Uzbekistan.
The case analyses the arrest of Renova’s top management and its implications for Viktor Vekselberg and the inter-elite dynamics.
Saakashvili’s decision to resign as the governor of Odessa and to start a new movement “to clean up the oligarchic dirt” has added a new dimension to the political dynamics of Ukraine. Despite his aspiration to fight against the system it is unlikely that he will succeed
As the economy of Uzbekistan faces challenges and uncertainty after Karimov’s death, the acting President Mirziyoyev has signed a decree which intends to attract foreign investments. By providing privileges and advantages for investors in its Free Trade Zone’s Uzbekistan wants to vitalise its economy. However, the existing problems regarding its currency remains a problem.
Following the reshuffles within his cabinet, Nazarbayev has made new appointments to the Central Election Commission starting with replacing the ex-chairman with his longstanding ally and family member Imashev. The new appointments could be a sign that Nazarbayev is preparing for a transition before his presidential term comes to an end.
As the new acting president until elections in December, current Prime Minister Mirziyoyev has already begun to cement his authority. In his new role as the new interim leader of Uzbekistan, Mirziyoyev’s mandate has become increasingly clear: to bring back “outlawed” individuals, slowly break Karimov’s legacy, and finalise consensus with the Tashkent-clan to secure a transition that is much more seamless than observers had initially expected.
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The August terrorist attacks has thrown otherwise stable Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev’s decision to reshuffle his cabinet for the second time in a couple of weeks is a sign that stability in Kazakhstan is no longer being taken for granted.
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The recent death of Islam Karimov, who ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years, has raised the issue of his succession earlier than expected. No known successor has been identified, which could pose a threat to the country’s stability by way of popular dissatisfaction and an intra-elite power struggle. The initial outlook is not optimistic: in periods of transition within autocratic regimes, such as Uzbekistan, mechanisms of elite instinct take control in order to avoid complete regime breakdown.
Despite popular expectations to fight corruption, and promises made by the authorities, no significant anti-corruption breakthrough has been made to date. A report published by National Reforms Council, an organisation set up to observe reforms, noted that the launch of the e-application system – a system developed for officials to declare their finances - faces many challenges that will inevitably impact its effectiveness.
The most recent decision of Nazarbayev to reshuffle the Cabinet responsible for overseeing the country’s security apparatus, while keeping the rest of the Cabinet intact, should be viewed as a penultimate step towards consolidating and tightening how power rests in Kazakhstan in the lead up to any future political transition.
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News of the death of President Karimov, broken by Ferghana News on the evening of the 29th of August 2016, has yet to be confirmed. Regardless, these rumours have – once again – sparked lively debate regarding succession in Uzbekistan.
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