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Amendments to Tajik Constitution give Rahmon right to remain in power for life

January 22, 2016, 12:25 UTC+3 DUSHANBE

The amendmends ban religious and nationalist political parties and associations and scrap the Council of Justice

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Tajikistan’s president Emomali Rahmon

Tajikistan’s president Emomali Rahmon

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

DUSHANBE, January 22. /TASS/. The lower house of the Tajik parliament has unanimously approved on Friday the amendments to the country’s current Constitution enshrining Emomali Rahmon’s right to be president for life. These amendments will take effect after being reviewed by the Constitutional Court and popular support at the referendum whose date will be determined later.

According to the new wording of Article 66 of the country’s Constitution, "a person at least 30 years old who has a command of the state language and who has lived in the country for at least 10 past years can be nominated for the post of Tajikistan’s president." Lawmaker Mahmadali Vatanzoda noted that it was planned to supplement this article with the following content: "The restrictions envisaged in this article do not apply to the founder of "peace and national unity - leader of the nation." This legal status was conferred on incumbent President Emomali Rahmon by parliamentarians on December 9, 2015.

Among other significant amendments to Tajikistan’s Constitution are a ban on religious and nationalist political parties and associations and the abolition of the Council of Justice. The activity of foreign political parties is banned as well. The Constitution enshrines the presidential form of government, which has actually been in force since 1994. All these amendments will take effect after a national referendum.

Emomali Rahmon has been the head of state since 1992.

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