Eurasianet notes that Central Asia is such a politically stagnant region that an election of any kind can be enough to spark some interest.  Between presidential and parliamentary votes, it is rare for a year to pass without any national polls to watch.  

And yet, no such dubious distractions are planned for 2022, Eurasianet says, noting that it is not to say that nothing will happen on the political scene.  According to it, the emphasis will instead be on top-down initiatives dressed up exercises in public engagement.

Eurasianet says dynastic succession process could soon take place in Tajikistan.  There are some who believe that President Emomali Rahmon would have handed over power to his 34-year-old son, Rustam Emomali, before now had the country not been assailed by one crisis after another.  First it was COVID-19, and then the collapse of the Western-backed government in Afghanistan happened, according to Eurasianet.

The country is reportedly in real terms no less poor than it was before the pandemic hit, but the economy is stabilizing.  And despite the initial huffing and puffing about the Taliban, Rahmon’s regime looks like it will learn to live with the Emirate next door. Just as 2021 was coming to a close, Tajikistan’s power company Barqi Tojik signed an agreement to continue delivering electricity to Afghanistan over the long term on the proviso that Kabul settles its outstanding dues.

This kind of practical accommodation is going to characterize how most Central Asian governments engage with Afghanistan: carefully, but cordially, so long as the money keeps coming.

Does this mean that Rustam’s moment has come?  Possibly.  And yet, Tajikistan is never far from a serious crisis, be it economic or security-based, so there could be waiting to come, Eurasianet says.