Economic Reforms in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan has become a clear leader in economic transformation in Central Asia. Moreover, the progress in this area has been accompanied by a broad democratization of political life and an open, pro-Western orientation in foreign policy. These economic and political reforms represent the effect of the political course embarked upon in 1991 by the president of the republic, Askar Akayev. Thus far, they have made Kyrgyzstan an oasis of democracy and social peace in a region wracked by powerful ethnic and religious conflicts (e.g., Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan) and whose political and economic regimes are of a significantly less liberal and democratic character and possess strong elements of the postcommunist or even neo-communist order (e.g., Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).