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Tajikistan’s parliament to set date for presidential election

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Tajikistan’s parliament to set date for presidential election

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Photo: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/File Photo

Tajikistan’s parliament is set to convene today to schedule the presidential election sometime in November this year.

President Emomali Rahmon has ruled Tajikistan since 1992, consistently winning presidential and legislative elections that have been deemed fraudulent by outside observers. The March elections gave Rahmon’s People’s Democratic Party (PDPT) 75% of the legislature’s seats.

The Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT), which is the leading opposition party, was banned from participating in the elections. An alliance of opposition groups, called the National Alliance of Tajikistan, based in Europe, asked voters to support the only opposition party in the election, the Social Democrats, which nevertheless failed to enter the legislature.

Expect similarly fraudulent presidential elections this year—Rahmon is almost certain to win another term. Rahmon has consolidated power in his office, with parliament reduced to rubber stamping his policies. It is possible that with the amount of COVID-19 aid that the country is receiving—$52.5 million from the Asian Development Bank and $16 million from the World Bank—there might be greater scrutiny of Rahmon’s authoritarian policies, but this does not appear likely in the short term.

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