|UZBEKISTAN COAT OF ARMS|
Location of Uzbekistan within the Continent of Asia
Map of Uzbekistan
Flag Description of Uzbekistan: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and green separated by red fimbriations with a white crescent moon (closed side to the hoist) and 12 white stars shifted to the hoist on the top band; blue is the color of the Turkic peoples and of the sky, white signifies peace and the striving for purity in thoughts and deeds, while green represents nature and is the color of Islam; the red stripes are the vital force of all living organisms that links good and pure ideas with the eternal sky and with deeds on earth; the crescent represents Islam and the 12 stars the months and constellations of the Uzbek calendar
Official name Òzbekiston Respublikasi (Republic of Uzbekistan)
Form of government republic1 with two legislative houses (Senate ; Legislative Chamber )
Head of state and government President: Islam Karimov, assisted by Prime Minister: Shavkat Mirziyayev
Capital Tashkent (Toshkent)
Official language Uzbek
Official religion none
Monetary unit sum (UZS)
Population (2013 est.) 29,994,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 172,742
Total area (sq km) 447,400
- Urban: (2011) 51.2%
- Rural: (2011) 48.8%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2011) 64.7 years
- Female: (2011) 71.4 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: not available
- Female: not available
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2013) 1,900
1In actuality an authoritarian regime; recent executive elections and referenda have not been deemed free or fair by international observers.
2Includes 84 indirectly elected seats and 16 appointed seats.
3Includes 15 indirectly elected seats.
Background of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan, officially Republic of Uzbekistan, Uzbek Ŭzbekiston, or Ŭzbekistan Respublikasi, country in Central Asia. It lies mainly between two major rivers, the Syr Darya (ancient Jaxartes River) on the northeast and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) on the southwest, though they only partly form its boundaries. Uzbekistan is bordered by Kazakhstan on the northwest and north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on the east and southeast, Afghanistan on the south, and Turkmenistan on the southwest. The autonomous republic of Qoraqalpoghiston (Karakalpakstan) is located in the western third of the country. The Soviet government established the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic as a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R. in 1924; Uzbekistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 31, 1991. The capital is Tashkent (Toshkent).
Geography of Uzvekistan
Nearly four-fifths of Uzbekistan’s territory, the sun-dried western area, has the appearance of a wasteland. In the northwest the Turan Plain rises 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 metres) above sea level around the Aral Sea in Qoraqalpoghiston. This terrain merges on the south with the Kyzylkum (Uzbek: Qizilqum) Desert and farther west becomes the Ustyurt Plateau, a region of low ridges, salt marshes, sinkholes, and caverns.
Southeast of the Aral Sea, small hills break the flatness of the low-lying Kyzylkum Desert, and, much farther east, a series of mountain ridges partition Uzbekistan’s territory. The western Tien Shan includes the Karzhantau, Ugam, and Pskem ranges, the latter featuring the 14,104-foot (4,299-metre) Beshtor Peak, the country’s highest point. Also part of the western Tien Shan are the Chatkal and Kurama ranges. The Gissar (Hissar) and Alay ranges stand across the Fergana (Farghona) Valley, which lies south of the western Tien Shan. The Mirzachol desert, southwest of Tashkent, lies between the Tien Shan spurs to the north and the Turkestan, Malguzar, and Nuratau ranges to the south. In south-central Uzbekistan the Zeravshan valley opens westward; the cities of Samarkand (Samarqand) and Bukhara (Bukhoro) grace this ancient cultural centre.
Disastrous depletion of the flow of the two historic rivers—the Syr Darya and Amu Darya—has brought rapid change in the Aral Sea and greatly altered the delta of the Amu Darya. Most streams of the delta have dried up, and the Aral Sea, once the fourth largest inland body of water in the world, has lost more than three-fifths of its water (volume) and some two-fifths of its area since 1961. In some places the sea’s shoreline has receded more than 75 miles (120 kilometres). On the north as well as on the east, huge shallow and dead ponds have become separated from the main Aral, cut off by sandbars that emerged as the water level dropped some 45 feet between 1961 and 1992. Overuse of water from the Syr Darya and Amu Darya in both agriculture and industry brought about this dangerous decline. The Syr Darya ceased to deliver any appreciable amount of water to the Aral Sea by about 1978, and the Amu Darya gives the sea a paltry 0.24 to 1.2 cubic miles (1 to 5 cubic kilometres) of water annually, compared with 9.6 cubic miles in 1959. The southern rivers tributary to the Amu Darya—the Surkhan and Sherabad, followed by the Zeravshan and Kashka—contribute little flow, for the last two trickle into nothing in the desert. The Syr Darya, the second largest river in Uzbekistan, forms there by the confluence of the Naryn and Qoradaryo rivers.
The diversion of the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya has resulted in intense salinization of the sea, which also has suffered tremendous pollution from insecticides and chemical fertilizers during the past several decades. This chemical pollution and the decline in water level have killed the once-flourishing fishing industry, grounded most ships that formerly worked within the Aral’s shores, and contaminated wide areas around the sea with salty, lethal dust. This, in turn, has poisoned vegetables and drinking water, most harmfully affecting the health and livelihood of the human population around the Aral Sea littoral.
Marked aridity and much sunshine characterize the region, with rainfall averaging only 8 inches (200 millimetres) annually. Most rain falls in winter and spring, with higher levels in the mountains and minimal amounts over deserts. The average July temperature is 90° F (32° C), but daytime air temperatures in Tashkent and elsewhere frequently surpass 104° F (40° C). Bukhara’s high summer heat contrasts with the cooler temperatures in the mountains. In order to accommodate to these patterns, Uzbeks favour houses with windows facing away from the sun but open to porches and tree-filled courtyards shut off from the streets.
Although more than 600 streams crisscross Uzbekistan, the climate strongly affects drainage, because river water rapidly escapes through evaporation and filtration or runs off into irrigation systems.
- Plant and animal life
Vegetation patterns in Uzbekistan vary largely according to altitude. The lowlands in the west have a thin natural cover of desert sedge and grass. The high foothills in the east support grass, and forests and brushwood appear on the hills. Forests cover less than 12 percent of Uzbekistan’s area. Animal life in the deserts and plains includes rodents, foxes, wolves, and occasional gazelles and antelopes. Boars, roe deer, bears, wolves, Siberian goats, and some lynx live in the high mountains.
- Settlement patterns
Most of the population lives in the eastern half of the country. Heavily populated oases and foothill basins are covered with an extensive network of canals intersecting fields, orchards, and vineyards. The fertile Fergana Valley in the extreme east, the most populous area in Central Asia, supports both old and new cities and towns and traditional rural settlements. Much of Qoraqalpoghiston, in the west, is under threat of depopulation caused by the environmental poisoning of the Aral Sea area.
Good public housing continued to be in short supply well into the late 20th century, despite large outlays by the government in this sector. As late as the 1990s, private ownership of urban housing had not become common in Uzbekistan, though suburban plots around Tashkent and other cities became available in large numbers for citizens able to erect their own houses—usually simple, low structures, like those in the past, built around courtyards planted with fruit trees and gardens open to the skies but closed off from the streets.
Demography of Uzvekistan
Uzbeks make up about three-fourths of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks, Tatars, Kyrgyz, Ukrainians, Kazaks, and Karakalpaks. The Uzbeks speak a language belonging to the southeastern, or Chagatai (Turki), branch of the Turkic language group. The Uzbeks are Sunnite Muslims, and they are considered to be among the most devout Muslims in all of Central Asia. They are also the least Russified of the Turkic peoples formerly under Soviet rule, and virtually all of them still claim Uzbek as their primary language. The majority of Uzbeks live in rural areas. Two-fifths of the population of Uzbekistan lives in urban areas; the urban population has a disproportionately high number of non-Uzbeks. Slavic peoples—Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians—held a large proportion of administrative positions. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, many Russians and smaller numbers of Jews emigrated from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states, changing the ethnic balance and employment patterns in the region.
Uzbekistan’s population is quite youthful in comparison to those of nationalities of the western parts of the former Soviet Union. This age structure results from the high birth rate: of all the former Soviet republics, Uzbekistan has the greatest number of mothers with 10 or more living children under the age of 20.
The cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Tashkent have histories that extend back to ancient times. Andijon (Andizhan), Khiva, and Qŭqon (Kokand) also have served the region as cultural, political, and trade centres for centuries. Soviet-era architects purposely laid out some newer towns, including Chirchiq, Angren, Bekobod, and Nawoiy (Navoi), close to rich mineral and energy resources. Soviet planners also sited Yangiyul, Guliston, and Yangiyer in areas that produce and process cotton and fruit.
Economy of Uzvekistan
Uzbekistan is among the world’s leading cotton producers. The country also produces and exports a large volume of natural gas. Known for its orchards and vineyards, Uzbekistan is also an important region for raising Karakul sheep and silkworms. Uzbekistan’s mineral and oil and gas reserves are substantial. The central bank issues the national currency, the sum.
The country’s resources include metallic ores; in the Olmaliq (Almalyk) mining belt in the Kurama Range, copper, zinc, lead, tungsten, and molybdenum are extracted. Uzbekistan possesses substantial reserves of natural gas, oil, and coal. The country consumes large amounts of its natural gas, and gas pipelines link its cities and stretch from Bukhara to the Ural region in Russia as well. Surveys show petroleum resources in the Fergana Valley (including major reserves in the Namangan area), in the vicinity of Bukhara, and in Qoraqalpoghiston. The modern extraction of coal began to gain importance, especially in the Angren fields, only during World War II. Hydroelectric dams on the Syr Darya, the Naryn, and the Chirchiq rivers help augment the country’s nuclear-, coal-, and petroleum-powered generation of electricity.
Centuries-old rumours of extensive gold deposits in Uzbekistan evidently arose from a basis in fact. Rich polymetallic ores have been found in the Ohangaron (Akhangaran) field southeast of Tashkent. Miners there extract copper, some gold, lead, molybdenum, tungsten, and zinc. In the Muruntau field in the Kyzylkum Desert of north-central Uzbekistan, the Newmont Mining Corporation in the mid-1990s began construction of a huge plant for heat-leaching gold from low-grade ore; revenue from this project is to be shared with the government.
Uzbekistan requires greater water resources. By the early 1980s the government considered the shortage of water desperate. Officials in Moscow and Tashkent developed a plan to divert substantial amounts of water out of the Irtysh River far to the north into a pumped system that would aid in watering parts of lower Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. The project was killed, however, before it began, leaving Uzbekistan with chronic water shortages.
Ample sunlight, mild winters of short duration, fertile irrigated soil, and good pastures make Uzbekistan suitable for cattle raising and the cultivation of cotton. Irrigation has fallen into disfavour owing to the depletion of the great rivers, and the construction of new irrigation systems has been prohibited or curtailed. Already existing grand canals include the Great Fergana, Northern Fergana, Southern Fergana, and Tashkent. Several large artificial lakes and reservoirs have been created on the Zeravshan and other rivers.
In addition to the high and stable cotton yield in this most northerly of the great cotton regions of the world, growers have raised silkworms systematically since the 4th century ad. The silkworms are fed mulberry leaves from the many trees planted along streets and ditches. The Fergana Valley is especially noted for silk production.
Varieties of melons, apricots, pomegranates, berries, apples, pears, cherries, and figs grow abundantly, as do vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and greens. Uzbekistan’s grapes are made into wine or raisins or are eaten fresh. Fruits and vegetables are sold both in the bazaars of Tashkent, Samarkand, Fergana, and other localities and in trade with neighbouring states. Korean agriculturalists cultivate rice along the middle Syr Darya. Sheep are the principal livestock.
Uzbekistan is the main producer of machinery and heavy equipment in Central Asia. The republic manufactures machines and equipment for cotton cultivation, harvesting, and processing and for use in the textile industry, irrigation, and road construction. This emphasis on making machinery also makes ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy important. The first metallurgical plant began operation at Bekobod in 1946.
Light industry includes tea-packing plants and factories for garment making.
The leading exports from Uzbekistan consist largely of extracted natural resources or raw materials—cotton, natural gas, oil, coal, silk, fruit, and Karakul pelts. Some fresh produce reaches Moscow and other northern markets. Manufactured goods such as machines, cement, textiles, and fertilizer are also exported.
The great obstacle to further development of markets for Uzbekistan’s copious truck gardening and fruit growing remains the antiquated means of distribution. Neither the surface nor air transport now available can efficiently or with adequate refrigeration handle the volume produced in Uzbekistan and needed by the Baltic states, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Old railways connect the republic’s major urban centres with other Central Asian republics and extend to Moscow and Siberia. Uzbekistan never had a domestic airline of its own, but, after independence in 1991, former Soviet Aeroflot airplanes and their pilots were chartered to fly rather infrequently from such cities as Samarkand and Tashkent to nearby cities. Air service now connects Tashkent with London, New York, and other international cities.
Trucks transport most of the freight carried, and the roadways, like other facilities, require much repair—virtual reconstruction—and widening before they can support the modernizing economies that their builders once hoped to link with each other. The Great Uzbek Tashkent-Termiz Highway runs south almost to the border with Afghanistan. Termiz remains virtually a dead end in terms of trade, however, especially since the Soviet intervention (1979–89) in the Afghan War. A second road, the Zeravshan Highway, connects Samarkand with Chärjew, Turkmenistan, in the west. The Fergana Ring links the main settlements within the populous Fergana Valley.
Government and politics of Uzvekistan
- President Islom Karimov.
The politics of Uzbekistan take place in the framework of a presidential republic, whereby the president is chief of state. The nature of government is authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch. The president is elected by popular vote for a seven-year term, and is eligible for a second term. The year 2007 was to be an election year.
The president appoints the prime minister, a cabinet of ministers, and their deputies. The Supreme Assembly approves the cabinet.
The bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of a senate of 100 seats. Regional governing councils elect 84 members to serve five-year terms, and the president appoints 16. The legislative chamber comprises 120 seats. Members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. Elections were last held in 2004.
President Islom Kharimov's Halq Tarakiati Partiiasi, or People's Democratic Party, controls all aspects of governance. All parties in the Supreme Assembly support President Kharimov.
Although the constitution requires independent judges, the judicial system lacks independence. Supreme Court judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Assembly. The legal system is an evolution of Soviet civil law. Defendants are seldom acquitted, and if they are, the government can appeal. Reports of police abuse and torture are widespread. People are reluctant to call the police, as they are not trusted. Petty crime has become more common, while violent crime is more rare. Although police are tough on drug abuse, heroin use has increased since it is available. Heroin is shipped through Uzbekistan from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe.
Political Map of Uzbekistan
- Administrative divisions
Uzbekistan is divided into 12 provinces or viloyat, one autonomous republic, and one independent city. They are: Tashkent City, 1; Andijan Province, 2; Buxoro Province, 3; Fergana Province, 4; Jizzax Province, 5; Xorazm Province, 13; Namangan Province, 6; Navoiy Province, 7; Qashqadaryo Province, 8; Karakalpakstan Republic, 14; Samarqand Province, 9; Sirdaryo Province, 10; Surxondaryo Province, 11; Toshkent Province, 12.
- Enclaves and exclaves
An “enclave” is a country or part of a country mostly surrounded by the territory of another country or wholly lying within the boundaries of another country, and an “exclave” is one that is geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory. There are four Uzbek exclaves, all of them surrounded by Kyrgyz territory in the Fergana Valley region where Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan meet.
Exclaves include: Sokh, with an area of 125 square miles (325km²) and a population of 42,800 in 1993, comprises 99 percent Tajiks and the remainder Uzbeks; Shakhrimardan (also known as Shakirmardon or Shah-i-Mardan), with an area of 35 square miles (90km²) and a population of 5100 in 1993, comprises 91 percent Uzbeks and the remainder Kyrgyz; Chong-Kara (or Kalacha), on the Sokh river, between the Uzbek border and Sokh, is roughly two miles (3km) long by 0.6 miles (1km) wide; and Dzhangail, a dot of land barely 1.5 miles (2 or 3km) across.
Uzbekistan has a Tajikistan enclave, the village of Sarvan, which includes a narrow, long strip of land about nine miles (15km) long by 0.6 miles (1km) wide, alongside the road from Angren to Kokand. There is also a tiny Kyrgyzstan enclave, the village of Barak (population 627), between the towns of Margilan and Fergana.
Uzbekistan possesses the largest military force in Central Asia, having around 65,000 people in uniform. Its structure is inherited from the Soviet armed forces, although it is being restructured around light and Special Forces. Equipment is not modern, and training, while improving, is neither uniform nor adequate. The government has accepted the arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union, acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and supported the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency in western Uzbekistan. About 3.7 percent of GDP is spent on the military. Uzbekistan approved the U.S. request for access to a vital military air base, Karshi-Khanabad, in southern Uzbekistan following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. After the Andijan riot and subsequent U.S. reaction, Uzbekistan demanded that the U.S. withdraw. The last US troops left Uzbekistan in November 2005.
- Museum of Applied Arts, Tashkent.
Uzbekistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991, but withdrew from the CIS collective security arrangement in 1999. Since that time, Uzbekistan has participated in the CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan and in UN-organized groups to help resolve the Tajik and Afghan conflicts, both of which it sees as posing threats to its own stability.
Uzbekistan supported U.S. efforts against worldwide terrorism and joined the coalitions that have dealt with both Afghanistan and Iraq. The relationship with the United States began to deteriorate after the so-called "color revolutions" in Georgia and Ukraine, when the U.S. joined in a call for an investigation of the events at Andijon, when up to 500 people were killed when police fired on protesters.
It is a member of the United Nations, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Partnership for Peace, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It belongs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Economic Cooperation Organization—comprising the five Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Uzbekistan is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and hosts the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent. Uzbekistan joined the new Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO) in 2002. The CACO consists of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is a founding member of the Central Asian Union, formed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, joined in March, 1998, by Tajikistan.
Culture Life of Uzvekistan
History of Uzbekistan
Early History Uzbekistan was the site of one of the world's oldest civilized regions. The ancient Persian province of Sogdiana, it was conquered in the 4th cent. B.C. by Alexander the Great. Turkic nomads entered the area in the 6th cent. A.D. It passed in the 8th cent. to the Arabs, who introduced Islam, and in the 12th cent. to the Seljuk Turks of Khwarazm. Jenghiz Khan captured the region in the 13th cent., and in the 14th cent. Timur made his native Samarkand the center of his huge empire. The realm was much reduced under his successors, the Timurids, and began to disintegrate by the end of the 15th cent.
Throughout these turbulent times, the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Tashkent, situated on major trade routes to China, India, Persia, and Europe, were centers of prosperity, culture, and fabulous luxury. In the early 16th cent., the Uzbek, formerly called Sarts, invaded the region from the northwest. A remnant of the empire of the Golden Horde, they took their name from Uzbeg Khan (d. 1340), from whom their dynasty claimed descent. Later in the 16th cent., the Uzbek leader Abdullah extended his domain over parts of Persia, Afghanistan, and Chinese Turkistan; but the empire soon broke up into separate principalities, notably Khiva, Kokand, and Bukhara.
- Modern History
Weakened by internecine warfare, these states were conquered by Russian forces, who took Tashkent in 1865, Samarkand and Bukhara in 1868, and Khiva in 1873. Kokand was annexed outright to the Russian empire, but Khiva and Bukhara remained under their native rulers as vassal states of Russia. Efforts by Uzbek leaders to establish a European-style democratic republic in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917 were unsuccessful.
In 1918 the Turkistan Autonomous SSR was organized on Uzbek territory, in 1920 the Khorezm and Bukhara People's Republics were established, and finally, in 1924, the Uzbek-populated areas were united in the Uzbek SSR. Tajikistan was part of the Uzbek SSR until 1929, when it became a separate republic. In 1936 the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous SSR was joined with Uzbekistan. In 1956 and 1963, the Mirzachul Steppe ("Hungry Steppe") was transferred from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan. Some of the area was returned in 1971.
In June, 1990, the Uzbek parliament passed a resolution declaring the republic's sovereignty. Islam Karimov, who had been named Uzbekistan's Communist party chief in 1989 and given the new title of president earlier in 1990, initially did not oppose the abortive coup of Aug., 1991, in Moscow (see August Coup), but he denounced it when it failed. On Aug. 31, Uzbekistan was declared independent, and it joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in December. During the same month, Karimov was elected president by popular vote.
Karimov began a crackdown against political opponents, some of whom were jailed; at the same time, some free-market reforms were undertaken. Karimov also established controls on devout Muslims, which grew increasing harsh and indiscriminate during the late 1990s, when such Muslims were among the few remaining critics of his rule. In 1995, in a referendum in which voters' preferences could be observed by election officials, Karimov won an overwhelming endorsement to remain in office until the year 2000.
Several people were killed by car bombs outside government offices in Tashkent in Feb., 1999, in an apparent attempt on the president's life; a number of radical Islamists were held in connection with the bombings. In Jan., 2000, Karimov was reelected to the presidency, again by a lopsided majority. In August there were clashes with Uzbek Islamic guerrillas who had crossed into Uzbekistan from bases in Tajikistan. The following year, Uzbekistan allowed U.S. forces to use bases there in its campaign against Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan's Taliban; the U.S. campaign there also weakened Uzbek Islamic guerrillas supported by the Taliban and Al Qaeda. In 2002, after a referendum that was criticized by Western nations, Karimov's term was extended to Dec., 2007.
In Mar., 2004, there was an outbreak of terrorist violence in Tashkent and Bukhara in which several dozen people died, and in July there were suicide attacks in Tashkent. Islamic groups were blamed for the attacks, but international rights groups said that Karimov's rigid authoritarian regime created a climate that fostered Islamic militancy and antigovernment attacks. In November there protests in several cities against new regulations on traders in the bazaars; the most serious one, in Kokand, involved attacks on police and other officials. Despite Uzbekistan's strategic alliance with the United States, the country failed to win U.S. certification for aid in 2004. At the same time, however, relations with Russia, which had been strained, improved. The Dec., 2004, parliamentary elections were contested only by candidates from parties that supported the president.
In May, 2005, protest in Andijan against the arrest and trial of local businessmen turned into an antigovernment uprising when the local prison and a regional administration building were seized. The uprising, which spread to other areas of E Uzbekistan was brutally suppressed by government forces, who claimed that less than 200 terrorists had been killed. Other sources, however, estimated that more than 700 men, women, and children had died when security forces shot indiscriminantly at protesters. Subsequently, the government engaged in a widespread, ongoing crackdown designed to suppress dissent generally and limit access to information about the uprising and its aftermath. The events strained relations with the United States and European Union nations in the following months. Meanwhile, in July, 2005, Uzbekistan terminated the agreement that allowed U.S. forces to be based in the country, and U.S. forces were withdrawn by the end of 2005. In Dec., 2007, Karimov was again reelected; the vote was criticized as undemocratic and being of questionable constitutionality. Since 2009 Uzbekistan has restricted the flow of goods, electricity, and natural gas into or out of neighboring Tajikistan in response to Tajikistan's construction of a hydroelectric dam that could reduce the flow of water needed for irrigation in Uzbekistan. Elections for the Legislative Chamber, held in Dec., 2009, and Jan., 2010, were again open only to candidates of parties aligned with Karimov.
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