Uzbekistan Table of Contents
The movement toward economic reform in Uzbekistan has not been matched by movement toward democratic reform. The government of Uzbekistan has instead tightened its grip since independence, cracking down increasingly on opposition groups, curbing basic human rights, and making little attempt to develop democratic political norms and practices. Although the names have changed, the institutions of government remain similar to those that existed before the breakup of the Soviet Union. The government has justified its restraint of personal liberty and freedom of speech by emphasizing the need for stability and a gradual approach to change during the transitional period, citing the conflict and chaos in the other former republics (most convincingly, neighboring Tajikistan). This approach has found credence among a large share of Uzbekistan's population, although such a position may not be sustainable in the long run.
Data as of March 1996