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Opposition says Tajikistan’s presidential election undemocratic

November 14, 2013, 14:00 UTC+3 DUSHANBE
The Islamic Renaissance Party called for the creation of a commission that will include representatives of all political forces
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DUSHANBE, November 14, 13:17 /ITAR-TASS/. The Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, one of the influential political forces in the Central Asian Republic, considers the November 6 presidential election “non-transparent and undemocratic,” a member of the party’s political council, famous political scientist Khikmatullo Saifullozoda told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Tajikistan’s central election commission made public the election results that demonstrated an increase in voters’ support for re-elected President Emomali Rakhmon from 83.6% during the previous election to 84.23%. The voter turnout reached 90.1%, up by 3.5%.

“These figures do not reflect the real state of affairs, taking into account the fact that over one third of the electorate, mainly 1.5 million of Tajik labour migrants, were excluded from the election process,” Saifullozoda said.

“The whole election campaign proceeded in the conditions of unprecedented pressure on the opposition and its leaders,” he said. “As a result, the only real candidate from the country’s opposition forces, non-party politician Oynikhol Bobonazarova withdrew from the presidential race, allies of the Islamic Renaissance Party did not run, while the Social Democratic Party, a partner of the Islamic Renaissance Party in efforts to reform, openly boycotted the election.”

The Islamic Renaissance Party called for the creation of a commission that will include representatives of all political forces, civil society and law experts to draft a constitutional reform.

The presidium of social democrats told Itar-Tass that the party’s leader, Rakhmatillo Zoyiorov, Emomali Rakhmon’s consecutive and tough critic, planned to file a suit to the Constitutional Court to prove the illegitimacy of the election.

International experts differ in their assessment of the presidential election. The CIS Observer Mission said “the whole election campaign proved transparent and democratic, while the gaps exposed cannot influence the election returns.” The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights noted in turn that the election proceeded in a calm atmosphere, but lacked competitiveness and pluralism.

The inauguration will take place in Dushanbe on November 16.

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