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Uzbekistan: Joy as Missing Pensioner Becomes President (again…)

30 Mar

There was unbridled joy in the mahallahs of Uzbekistan as the pensioner who went awol earlier this year swept to a landslide victory in the presidential poll on 29 March.

Lord Venal was in Tashkent to observe the proceedings and here are his findings.

The plucky voters of Uzbekistan braved chilly conditions to re-affirm their allegiance to the man who has run the country for the last quarter of a century. Support was down slightly for the septuagenarian leader at 90.39 % (he got 90.76% of the vote in 2007), but overall he remains the only show in town.

His backers took to twitter to take the wind out of the neigh-sayers’ sails:

The Uzbeks sure know how to organise a good election – we observers were wined and dined at every turn during our all too short visit. Election day began early with the traditional Osh Plov, platters of the national rice and meat dish served alongside three types of tea – green, black and white (or vodka to the uninitiated).

Then it was onto a new shopping centre in Tashkent’s old town to see pensioners picking up free loaves of bread and subsidised, rationed staples such as rice and cooking oil. In the run up to the election the president remembered his fellow senior citizens with this largesse. It reminded me of the food bank Lady Venal has set up for the poor of the parish back home.

After this strenuous morning, it was time for a lengthy lunch of more Uzbek delicacies and some cheeky wines from the chateaus of the Parkent Valley. I remember snippets of a fascinating conversation with the guys from the North Korean observer mission, but not enough to repeat here unfortunately.

After lunch we visited a polling station but alas there were no voters to be seen as the turnout at this station had hit the 100% mark by lunchtime. Time flew past and before we knew it, we were off for a farewell meal after a long day of observing.

Let’s just hope Kazakhstan can match the Uzbeks for hospitality when it chooses its president on 26 April.

 

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Uzbekistan: Joy as Missing Pensioner Found

20 Feb

In line with Astana’s recent directive to independent media outlets to promote positive news, kazaxia is proud to be able some to offer some good news at long last – missing septuagenarian Islam Karimov has been located in Qarshi, Uzbekistan.

Was this missing pensioner at Mardi Gras in Brazil?

Karimov, or “Butch” to his friends, was tracked down after kazaxia released a silver alert earlier this week. He is said to be in good shape though confused as to how he ended up in this city, which is a long way from his home in Tashkent.

Butch plans to continue with his dream to be president of Uzbekistan in his 80s, emulating his hero Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Who knows, if Mugabe should step down, President Karimov could one day be the world’s oldest serving president.

 

 

Uzbekistan: Silver Alert

16 Feb

Concerns are growing in Tashkent, Uzbekistan for missing pensioner Islam Karimov. Some of his family members are worried about his whereabouts as he has not been seen in public since late January when he met new US ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela Spratlen.

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He was due to endorse his candidacy for Uzbekistan’s presidential election on 6 February but failed to show up for that appointment.

The septuagenarian presidential hopeful is known to his friends as ‘Butch’ for the role he played in overseeing the bloody massacre in Andijan, Uzbekistan in 2005. He is said to be short-tempered and prone to bouts of confusion.

Googoosha – How Dare!

17 Sep

Shocking photos of a haggard looking Gulnara Karimova grappling with a police officer have been leaked from Uzbekistan.

In the words of one of her famous songs in her guise of pop diva Googoosha, she seems to be saying ‘How Dare‘ to the cop.

Let’s hope she’s not giving her captors the ‘Round Run‘ in those nice slippers.

Karimova is the eldest daughter of President Islam Karimov. She has suffered a spectacular fall from grace spending the last seven months under house arrest in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital.

GooGoosha update: Hollywood Insider Provides Insight into Gulnara Karimova’s ‘Problems’

13 Mar

The following is a post from Kazaxia partner-in-crime the Spektator.

Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov has been complaining of a tough life of late, portraying herself as a victim of her father’s police state on Twitter and suffering under house arrest while the powers that be conduct raids on what remains of her business empire and her little sister calls her a bitch. But apparently it has all been an act – literally – the proceedings have all been part of elaborate preparations for Guli: The Film, expected to be released early next year.

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When Googoosha met Gerard … (taken from fergananews.com)

Gulnara came to us with an enormous budget and informed us she wanted to play the lead role in an autobiographical film called Guli: The Film. The problem was the film didn’t have a storyline,” explained a Hollywood source familiar with the screen play to Kazaxia yesterday.

We told her that every character worthy of a film has to have an arc. Take Frodo in Lord of the rings, for instance. No-one would want to make a film about a hobbit that just went around routinely extorting bribes from mobile phone companies and stealing restaurants from other hobbits,” the source continued. “A strong lead needs to go from rags to riches or vice-versa. At the time the idea of the film came about Gulnara’s arc was just a flat line of slightly controversial fashion shows, hostile takeovers in the Uzbek economy and oriental-kitsch music videos that no-one seemed to be watching. We needed something to actually happen in her life, so we got in touch with Gulnara’s father, Islam.”

Calling Gulnara, 41, “a great method actress”, the source refused to divulge the plot of Guli: The Film but confirmed that Karimova’s mother, Tatiana, had kindly agreed to play the role of a wicked witch that plans Karimova’s downfall, while Karimova’s personal friend, Gerard Depardieu, is set to play Rustam Inoyatov, the grizzly head of Uzbekistan’s SNB security service. Curiously the source also confirmed that Adam Sandler had auditioned for a role as a foreigner “who gets lost in Tashkent and meets a beautiful Uzbekistani princess”.

The source did admit there had been “some creative differences” between Karimova and the makers of the film. “Gulnara views the story as a high drama but we view it very much as a comedy. We are trying to win her over,” the Hollywood insider disclosed.

Uzbekistan: Live at the Witch Trials

17 Dec

In scenes reminiscent of the hysteria which gripped Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, Tashkent may see a high-profile witchcraft trial as the bitter dispute between the Karimova sisters takes a sinister new twist.

The younger of President Islam Karimov’s two daughters, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, has turned the tables on her older sibling by threatening to take legal action against Gulnara “in connection with the spread of defamatory statements, slander and threats against me and my husband Timur Tillyaev in social networking websites and the media”.

It is believed that Lola will submit a petition ot the Tashkent branch of the Department for the Investigation of Sorcery-related Affairs (DISA) to investigate her older sister for suspected sorcery.

DISA’s chief prosecutor, Islomgol Bakanderova, told kazaxia that the trial could see a ducking stool set up on the banks of the Ankor Canal in downtown Tashkent. The accused will then be dipped in the icy water to determine their innocence or guilt.

“If he/she survives then this proves that he/she is in league with Satan,” Bakanderova told kazaxia. “If he/she drowns then she is innocent of the crime of sorcery,” she added.

Human rights groups have slammed the proposed trial as unsatisfactory and have questioned the lack of due process in the proceedings. “The death of the accused is not a satifactory means of ascertaining innocence,” an anonymous source told kazaxia. “This is the 21st century – we shouldn’t be relying on 17th century torture methods to determine innocence or guilt.”