Monday, March 06, 2017

Wikipedia fact checking a random line about Central Asia

Quoteth Reuters:
Kazakhstan, an exporter of oil and metals, is the only former Soviet republic that is still run by its communist-era leader.
Really? Is that true? Since Islam Karimov died in September that knocks out the most obvious counter-example. But what about Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan?

Poking around Wikipedia, it looks like the Reuters claim is technically correct. Rahmon was the people's deputy of the Tajik SSR when the Soviet Union collapsed but that wasn't the top post in the Soviet Republic. Qahhor Mahkamov was the President of the Tajik SSR when the collapse happened, but he left office at the end of August 1991, the month before Tajikistan declared Independence. Rahmon Nabiyev weaseled his way into power just after the September 9, 1991 independence declaration, and so he was technically the first President of independent Tajikistan. One year later, Nabiyev resigned during the Tajik civil war and the Tajiks abolished the office of President. It is only then that the current president, Emomali Rahmon became head of state (his title was initially Chairman of the Supreme Assembly when he assumed office in November 1992, he did not become "President of Tajikistan" until that office was re-established in November 1994).

I guess you can still argue that Rahmon is a counter-example. He was a communist-era leader of the Tajik SSR who still runs one of the former Soviet Republics. But he wasn't the top leader and he did not have an unbroken hold on power in the post-Soviet era like Nursultan Nazarbeyev.