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Roundtable: Kyrgyzstan's Yellow Revolution

The Harriman Institute of Columbia University hosts a panel of experts to discuss the internal roots of the political conflict in Kyrgyzstan and the so-called "Yellow Revolution." The panel will be held on Tuesday, March 29, at 2 p.m.

According to political analysts, President Askar Akayev's government was initially devoted to liberalization and democratization but gradually deteriorated into an ineffective regime. Corruption severely undermined economic development by corroding the administrative structures. The state became unable to support the rule of law and could not provide a positive environment for private enterprise and economical development. In 2004, Transparency International, the leading global nongovernmental organization devoted to combating corruption, ranked Kyrgyzstan 122nd out of 145 countries in its Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

As in Georgia and Ukraine, opposition groups challenged the incumbent regime, accusing it of corruption and ineffectiveness. However, the president's administration attempted to falsify the results of the parliamentary elections in February 2005. In response, many groups and private individuals demanded justice and fair elections. Despite being deeply divided into numerous competing fractions, the opposition managed to bring people out into the streets of the cities and towns and later onto the streets of the capital, forcing the president and his close associates to flee the presidential palace.

The panelists will address such issues as the role of clans, the independent media and political groups in these events and will discuss future scenarios for the country's development and stabilization. The panel will be held at the Harriman Institute, 420 West 118 St., 12th floor, Room 1219.

For further information, contact Alla Rachkov at (212) 854-9713 or rachkov@columbia.edu.

Published: Mar 29, 2005
Last modified: Mar 28, 2005

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