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a diamond stylus,
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Nargis Zokirova,
Tajikistan
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Elena Dorokhova,
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The Internet - every convict?
Ahmed Salama (Ashgabat)
The election campaign in Turkmenistan was going to be pretty boring. After the shock caused by the death of Turkmenbashi, the authorities did not fall into a stupor and began to redistribute power. The first step was to arrest the chairman of parliament, who was supposed to inherit the role of the first person in the state after the death of the president and lead all the cases to the next election. Moreover, according to the constitution, he himself could not take part in the election of the next president and was not formally a competitor for anyone. Well, arrested and arrested. Few people in Turkmenistan were arrested for settlement for 10-15 years. The authority was handed over to the deputy prime minister, who was chosen by the national security council. But the powers of this body are not spelled out in the constitution. The authorities rewrote the constitution, allowing the temporarily performing not only to temporarily perform duties, but also to take part in the elections. Just think! In recent times, the constitution was rewritten twice a year. The nomination of several presidential candidates on a “broad democratic basis” also did not surprise anyone. In Turkmenistan, they didn’t do anything with democracy, as this performance did not cause any surprise.

And the appearance of the candidates, and their oaths of loyalty to the work and precepts of Turkmenbashi, did not cause anyone to deceive that the last one, temporarily performing, would come to the finish line first. How not to be deceived, and all his headiness, when he refused to teleether. He himself said, why, they say, I am on air for election campaigning? Everybody sees me on TV anyway. True, he was not going to talk about his election program there, nevertheless, he was shown there. And about his deeds and intentions, people will understand this way. And the people, not being surprised at absolutely nothing, did not react at all to all these ideas. Past power drove into his head that nothing really depends on him.

But then the favorite of the race began to throw out the pranks, which took many fabulous ... Of course! He publicly encroached on the most sacred cow of Turkmenbashi, whom he nursed with such love all his time in power. With such stubbornness, he pushed his people into the Middle Ages, cut off education to 9 classes, banned the Internet, foreign media, trips abroad - in general, neither by foot, nor study, nor be treated. And then his heir at the very first meeting with voters proclaims that the Internet should be accessible to everyone! For study - to all advanced countries of the world! Education - to the world level! Give 10 classes in schools and 5 years in universities! True, he said that it follows from the teachings of Turkmenbashi the Great ... But now you can talk so calmly and say anything. And he wrote and said Turkmenbashi so much and everything different that it would be no problem to shift his words in any way. Turkmenbashi from the grave can not correct anyone.

And then it started. In their speeches, all candidates began to talk about “raising agriculture”, “attracting investment”, “attracting scientific personnel”, about “open door policy”, about everything that “needs to be raised”, “develop”, “help” - about everything that Turkmenbashi the Great brought to a state of complete devastation. But where do not throw - everywhere wedge. Of course, each and every one of the applicants, willy-nilly, makes reservations that, they say, it all lies in line with and corresponds to the course, you know who. But he didn’t say anything about the increase in education (vice versa) and he didn’t talk about free travel abroad to study (vice versa), nor did he talk about free access to the Internet (vice versa), he also cut pensions and did everything Now they promise to "raise" and "develop" each of the candidates.

For those who have learned to read Turkmen politics through the curtain of verbal tinsel about “democracy” and “continuity of course”, it became clear that those in power finally realized that they needed to change something. Some observers even called the candidates' speeches "collective Khrushchev." This is probably a bust. And too little time has passed, and the new government has not acquired the legitimacy and strength that will allow it to begin to rake the Turkmenbashi Augean stables. And there are too many more in power of those who still believe that all that Turkmenbashi built was the road to the “golden age of the Turkmen”, or he himself took part in this construction. And it’s like a bone in the throat: freedom of the media, freedom of entry and exit, freedom of those whom they put behind bars, simply - freedom. Yes, the power has changed. It is hoped that some changes will follow, no matter what the candidates say about the stability of the course laid out by Niyazov. Everyone understands that it is impossible to continue living like this. And an indicator of that is sincere applause to the main candidate for the presidency, when he announced the need to improve education and about the Internet. That was a shock. Even such a small, but significant step by the future president gave rise to euphoria. And cautious expectations of the next change. How much is the determination of the new team is not yet clear. None of the candidates said anything about other freedoms. And it was worth b. Every year, about 100 thousand people are released from prisons under an amnesty. And 100 thousand people again every year occupy the bunks. And a completely unknown number of personal enemies of Turkmenbashi who remain without hope of being amnestied. Undoubtedly, someone and something from Turkmenbashi and stole, but they know everything that many people simply couldn’t steal, but they were put into prison for completely different reasons, although the formal reason was the same. And how many of their relatives are there!

All candidates talk about "bringing in advanced technology" and "qualified personnel." But where to get them, if all the creative and technical intelligentsia left the country? Will they have the courage to declare that the past regime has left and you can return? And to guarantee that there is no return to the time when diplomas of prestigious universities had to be confirmed by the knowledge of delusions called “Ruhnama”? And what to do with the generation that managed to learn in the "golden age"? Will the state take responsibility for all the sins of the past government? For political prisoners, for ethnic cleansing, for demolished houses and broken fates? Will there be enough will to release the prisoners and stop the lawlessness of the punitive bodies (they proudly call themselves so-not human rights!) —The prosecutor's office, the ministry of national security, the interior? Do you have the courage to let foreign journalists into the country and allow them to quietly travel around the country? Or will they again hide from the whole world cholera and AIDS, child mortality and crop failures, sell non-existent gas to all countries of the world and continue to accuse human rights activists of subversion? And finally, to deduce the country from the number of pariahs of the modern world?

After Stalin’s death, three years passed before the 20th CPSU Congress. The next national convention - Halk Maslahaty will also have the XX-th number. Whether it will be just a coincidence of figures or this Maslakh will become the same for Turkmenistan, what the XX Congress of the CPSU has become for the USSR, and for the whole world, time will tell. Will there be a promise to give the Internet to every citizen of the country and to 100 thousand prisoners too? Or is it still easier to reduce their number, giving them freedom. Like the rest of the people.
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The Kassem
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March 23, 2005, KG, Bishkek
Here are two more potential oppositionists!
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