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DUSHANBE, February 28. /TASS/. The day of silence that was observed in Tajikistan on Sunday on the eve of a parliamentary election was unmarked by any major violations, Firdavs Tabarov, the press secretary of the country’s Central Election Commission told TASS.
He said all the participants in the election race, from political parties to the staff of the CEC to employees of precinct election commissions, used the day as an opportunity to coordinate their actions and positions and to refine technical details.
The candidates’ election staffs did analysis of the activity of their representatives, summed up the results of the campaign, and mapped out plans for the day of voting.
International observers who watched the situation in Tajikistan during the day of silence held meetings with CEC’s top officials and representatives of regional administrations and a part of them went to remote areas of this highly mountainous country.
In the afternoon, parliament speaker Mahmadsaeed Ubaidulloyev received the leaders of the missions sent to the election by the European parliament and the CIS Parliamentary Assembly at their request. He briefed them on the preparations for the voting and on the general social and political situation in the republic.
"The situation is fully controlled by our law enforcement agencies and the forces of law and order have stepped up security precautions at all the strategic facilities and at the sites of leisure and entertainment," Ubaidulloyev said.
Security has also been intensified on the Tajikistani-Afghan border to prevent possible provocations, he said.
Political analysts have noted unanimously an obvious inertness of this election that was marked by feeble debates between opponents, as well as by the absence of political passions typical of election races or eye-catching political statements that would evoke everyone's interest.
Experts say the contenders' speeches were overly academic, theorizing and unattractive by the electorate, if one looks at the low spectator ratings of the programmes where the deputies would mostly appear.
"All the candidates confined their speeches to stating their commitment to peace and stability in the country, the eagerness to prevent a new civil conflict, the willingness to continue the economic and social reforms, and the importance of transparency of the election race," political scientist Rafael Ignatov told TASS.
"One could obviously get an impression all those statements had been copied from the same dummy," he said. "Quite probably, this also explains for the flagging interest to the elections on the part of the Tajikistani media, including the independent ones.
Taking part in this election are all the eight political parties registered in the country.
Aspiring to 63 seats in the lower house of parliament are 235 candidates. The two most influential political forces, the ruling Popular Democratic Party and the Party for Islamic Revival of Tajikistan, have nominated 27 candidates each.
The Agrarian Party and the Social Democratic Party, which stands in a tough opposition to the authorities, have nominated 13 candidates each.
A total of twenty-seven candidates have been nominated by the Communists, Socialist, Democrats and Economic Reformers.
The Popular Democrats have 55 seats in the current convocation of the lower house, which is more than the constitutional majority.
International organizations have sent 528 observers to monitor the election, which is covered by more than 100 foreign correspondents.