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Emomali Rakhmon wins Tajik presidential election by wide margin

November 07, 2013, 13:25 UTC+3

Election deemed highly democraticleb

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Tajik president Emomalii Rahmon casting his vote. EPA/PRESIDENT'S PRESS SERVICE

Tajik president Emomalii Rahmon casting his vote. EPA/PRESIDENT'S PRESS SERVICE

DUSHANBE, November 7 (Itar-Tass) - The Tajikistani presidential election has brought the expected result. Incumbent head of state Emomali Rakhmon has won with a clear lead, for the fourth time assuming office for a seven-year term.

“Emomali Rakhmon has been re-elected president. With the voter turnout of 88.6 percent, as many as 3 million 23 thousand citizens or 83.6 percent of eligible voters have voted for him,” head of the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) Shermukhammad Shokhiyon told a briefing on Thursday. He stressed that “these are strictly preliminary results. The final results will be summarised within several days, and the inauguration is planned for November 17.”

According to Shokhiyon, trailing far behind the leader are presidential candidate from the Communist Party of Tajikistan Ismoil Talbakov (5 percent of the vote), candidate from the Agrarian Party Tolibek Bukhoriyev with 4.5 percent, leader of the Economic Reform Party Olimjon Boboyev with 4 percent, chairman of the Socialist Party Abdukhalim Gaffarov with 1.5 percent and leader of the Tajikistani Democratic Party Saidjafar Ismonot with 1 percent of the vote.

The CEC head noted that the voting passed without major violations, with observance of all the election legislation rules, in a transparent and democratic atmosphere. Tajikistani citizens exercised their constitutional right to vote at 3,158 polling stations inside the country and at 61 polling stations outside the country, including in 24 Russian regions.

“More than 500 observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Russia’s Central Election Commission, representatives of foreign diplomatic missions, accredited in the republic, have monitored the election, the results of which they will assess today,” the Tajikistani CEC head stressed.

The CIS observer mission on Wednesday - the voting day, positively assessed the CEC activity for the creation of conditions for free expression of will by the citizens, finding no gross violations during the election.

However, according to Tajikistani and foreign experts, the election campaign results had been predictable and the winner known, because none of the five candidates could offer a serious competition to Emomali Rakhmon. The running in the election of representative of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, 65-year old human rights activist Oniykhol Bobonazarova, could have added some intrigue to the race. A woman candidate for the presidency in a country, where 98 percent of the population are Muslims, already makes a sensation. However, the opposition headquarters have failed to secure the support of 210 thousand citizens for her, required for being registered by the CEC, and so the main opponent of Rakhmon has dropped out of the election race. Against this background, the refusal of the supporters of the Islamic Renaissance Party and Social Democratic Party representatives to run in the election even more weakened the opposition camp and, in essence, facilitated the task for Emomali Rakhmon to stay in power until 2020.

The presidential office was established in Tajikistan in 1990. It was taken by First Secretary of the Central Committee of the republic’s Communist Party Kakhar Makhkamov, who resigned after Tajikistani democrats accused him of supporting the August 1991 putsch. A year later, Communist Party representative Rakhmon Nabiyev won in a tough competition with six rivals, among which there was well-known Tajikistani opposition leader, film director Davlat Khudonazarov. In autumn of the same year, in the midst of a civil war in the country, he was factually ousted by the so-called Dushanbe youth representatives. The supporters of the anti-Islamic Popular Front who came to power, at a session of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan in Khujand (regional centre in the east of the republic) in November of the same year cancelled the presidential form of government. They elected Emomali Rakhmonov, 40, an MP and director of the Lenin state farm, as Chairman of the Supreme Council. Two years later, the country returned the presidential form of government, and Rakhmonov was elected president (in 2007 he changed his surname to Rakhmon, getting rid of the Slavic ending “ov.”)

Countries of the West have never recognised the Tajikistani presidential or parliamentary elections as “meeting the democratic standards.”

Meanwhile, the Tajik presidential election on November 6 was "open and transparent," meeting universal democratic norms, head of the observer mission of the Commonwealth of Independent States /CIS/ Sergei Lebedev told a news conference on Thursday.

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