1/6 Emomali Rahmon managed to get reelected for yet another term without any mass protests or other hitches. The regime in Tajikistan has fused so closely w/ his extensive family that neither a new generation nor the Covid-19 pandemic can dent his power.

2/6 But it'll be difficult for him to complete his 5 term in entirety. It’s impossible to predict what difficulties may arise for the regime, and as he gets older, it will get harder for Rahmon to cling onto power.
3/6 Rahmon will most likely follow the example of his Kazakh counterpart in a few years’ time, and step down from the presidency. Unlike the transition in Kazakhstan, however, in Tajikistan, the succession will be a family affair.
4/6 Rahmon has long been preparing his eldest son Rustam for the presidency. Having had a reputation in his younger days as a spoiled and extravagant partygoer, Rustam is now considered a moderate liberal and technocrat.
5/6 Yet there are still obstacles that Rahmon junior must overcome to take power. Other relatives might oppose his candidacy, and the leaders of neighboring countries might not take him seriously on account of his youth.
6/6 For now, the elder Rahmon is managing to keep a tight grip on both the country and the ruling clan, but there are no guarantees that his son will be able to do the same so successfully and for so long.

Here's my take for @CarnegieRussia: carnegie.ru/commentary/829…

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More from @TUmarov

8 Oct
1/9 Kyrgyzstan is facing the biggest political crisis in a decade. One of the differences in the current situation from the last 2 revolutions is the reluctance of external powers to get involved. What to expect from 🇨🇳&🇷🇺? @AlexGabuev & I explain it here: carnegie.ru/commentary/829… Image
2/9 First, to understand what's going on the ground there's a great zoom-event by @CarnegieEndow's @pstronski co-organized by @tahirmuh & @OxusSociety w/ awesome speakers @VeneraSagyn, @Ericamarat, @bektour, and @ADoolotkeldieva.

3/9 In a nutshell, the current resident lost much of his authority, his enemy, ex-president Atambayev, is back in the game, as are many other players. The roots of today's battle for power goes back to the last year's scandal I wrote about @Diplomat_APAC:

Read 9 tweets
7 Sep
1/9 🇨🇳🇧🇾 In Belarus, China is neither at odds with Russia nor wedded to Alexander Lukashenko. As unrest spreads following last month’s presidential election, there is little reason to expect China to step in to rescue the embattled president. Here's why:
2/9 Belarus’s cooperation with China has always been informed by its relations with Russia and the West. Hence the original impetus for Minsk’s pursuit of a closer Sino-Belarusian relationship: the 2000s’ oil wars with the Kremlin and EU sanctions.
3/9 Although China’s role in the Belarusian economy has gradually increased since the 2010s, Beijing cannot, and has no intention to, seriously compete with Moscow.
Read 9 tweets
30 Mar
1/13: China is gradually laying down the foundations for the construction of a Pax Sinica in Central Asia. This process is not going smoothly, Beijing’s policy has come up against constraints. My take on 🇨🇳 strategy in 🇰🇿🇺🇿🇹🇲🇰🇬🇹🇯 @CarnegieRussia

carnegie.ru/commentary/814… Image
2/13: China adheres to 3 principles in CA: not to interfere in the countries’ internal affairs/problems in their relations with each other; to focus on economic cooperation; to work on improving its reputation. This strategy has been extremely successful so far.
3/13: China’s interests in Central Asia are linked to the region’s 3 main specifics:

1) buffer zone between Afghanistan and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region;

2) natural resources;

3) CA has the potential to become an overland transit hub for the entire continent.
Read 13 tweets
30 Oct 19
This fall will be remembered in #Kazakhstan 🇰🇿 for a wave of anti-China protests there. Why ppl are not happy w/ growing 🇨🇳 influence in the region? Why the leadership of the country cannot solve the problems w/ 🇨🇳? Here's my take for @CarnegieRussia:
At first, while the protests were not political, the authorities dealt with them calmly. But later when the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan party (banned as an extremist group there) and it's leader Mukhtar #Ablyazov took the lead, the rallies were all broken up by police. 1/
Officials tried to deflate the uproar by blaming everything on false information and “certain forces.” Some anonymous sources showed anti-Chinese protests as the sign of frictions within the ruling elite. 2/
Read 11 tweets

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