“Splendid and infinite happiness”
is not good enough for Uzbek President Islam Karimov, because according to the latest poll
by the government’s center for public opinion, 95 percent of Uzbeks are happy to live in Uzbekistan.
Rights allegations aside (and there's plenty here in this 2011 report by Human Rights Watch
why the sudden urge to conduct a nationwide poll?
As Uzbekistan’s state agency, UzA
reports, the poll was conducted “on the eve of the 21st anniversary of the independence of Uzbekistan.”
In the run-up to Independence Day on September 1, there has been much of the same. To mark one of the state’s most important public holidays, Uzbekistan’s state news agency UzA has recently published a compendium of news articles praising Uzbekistan’s glowing achievements.
According to UzA
, all citizens over the age of 18 participated in the poll and the figures rating people’s satisfaction with progress in the economy, social protection, personal safety, and human rights are all in the above-90 percentile range.
As a point of comparison, according to 2012 research done by the Pew Institute
, only 29 percent of Americans were satisfied with the way things are going in their country.
The happiness, according to UzA, is testament to “Islam Karimov’s own Uzbek method of development, which has been internationally recognized.”
-- Deana Kjuka
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