Who will destabilize Uzbekistan?

Baku/04.07.22/Turan: The removal of the word “sovereignty” in the new edition of the Constitution of Uzbekistan in relation to the phrase Republic of Karakalpakstan and the phrase “the right of the people of the republic to secede on the basis of a general referendum” caused protests  on July 1, in the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Nukus. After Nukus, a wave of protest also swept the cities of Chimbay and Muynak.

On June 26, the Government of Uzbekistan submitted for public discussion a draft law "On amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan." Under the new basic law, Karakalpakstan, most of western Uzbekistan, is being stripped of its constitutional right to hold a referendum on secession.

 The Article 74 of the current version of the Constitution of Uzbekistan states:

"The Republic of Karakalpakstan has the right to secede from the Republic of Uzbekistan on the basis of a general referendum of the people of the Republic of Karakalpakstan."

The new draft proposes to define the Article as follows:

“The Republic of Karakalpakstan exercises legislative, executive and judicial power on its territory in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.”

During the rally, the security forces of Uzbekistan, as usual, began to disperse the protesters in Nukus. As a result, 18 people died, 243 were injured (94 of them are still in hospitals), and 516 protesters were detained. The Prosecutor General's Office of Uzbekistan  filed a lawsuit in connection with the incident under the Article "Infringement on the constitutional order of the Republic of Uzbekistan." Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan declared a state of emergency in Karakalpakstan from July 3 to August 2. The parliament of the Karakalpak Autonomous Republic of Uzbekistan issued a statement saying that the organizers of the riots are criminals controlled from abroad.

The political observer Zardusht Alizade comments on the events in Karakalpakstan in the program "Difficult Question".

According to  Alizade, two reasons prompted the decision of the Uzbek authorities to amend the country's Constitution. The first is the desire of Shavkat Mirziyoyev and his entourage to strengthen and extend their power. “That is why they are already redrawing this ill-fated Constitution for the 15th time. Having reset their presidential terms to zero, extend the maximum term of their powers from 5 years to 7 years, as well as get the opportunity to be elected twice more and lead the country for another 14 years,” the observer believes.

The second reason that prompted the Uzbek authorities to reshape the Basic Law and remove the word "sovereignty" from it was the ongoing processes in the world.

“Tashkent sees that the processes taking place in the world, and in particular in Central Asia, are fraught with certain threats for all post-Soviet countries. Russia is trying to strengthen its control in all post-Soviet countries in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan through ethnic conflicts. Russia comes forward with territorial claims, openly declaring, for example, that the north-east of Kazakhstan is the ancient Cossack, and therefore Russian lands. Tashkent sees how the escalation of the conflict between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the conflict between Dushanbe and the Pamirs is being fueled, and they are well aware that a separatist card can also be played against him. Therefore, in order to eliminate the possibility of creating the problem of separatism from the outset, the authorities of Uzbekistan decided to take preventive measures,” Alizade said. According to the political scientist, there are two ways to strengthen the state.

“The first way is to tighten the screws, when law enforcement agencies are strengthened, laws are tightened, people are taught to be silent, journalists are imprisoned, the media, Internet resources, etc. are closed.

The second way is a much more difficult way, when people are interested in what people want, when jobs are created, opportunities for good earnings are created, corruption is being fought, etc. In the second case, there will be no reasons for discontent,” he said.

According to Alizade, instead of finding out what the people want, Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent law enforcers to deal with the people. And after the blood was shed, he came to Nukus and reprimanded the deputies and officials of Karakalpakstan, “Why didn’t you call and say that people are unhappy?”, he asked the audience.--0--

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