Ruling party highly likely to hold on to power as Tajikistan holds parliamentary election

Tajikistan holds elections for 63 parliamentary seats today. President Emomali Rahmon’s governing party, the Democratic People’s Party of Tajikistan, will

tajikistan election

Photo: Sputnik/Alexey Kudenko

Tajikistan holds elections for 63 parliamentary seats today. President Emomali Rahmon’s governing party, the Democratic People’s Party of Tajikistan, will most certainly triumph.

Overshadowed by allegations of vote-rigging, Rahmon’s party gained 80% of the parliamentary seats in the last election. Today’s elections are even less competitive. The main opposition party, accused of propagating extremist views, is not allowed to run and 11 of its leaders are imprisoned. As insulting the president and other government officials is a criminal offence, very little campaigning occurred. The government has routinely blocked websites and social media criticising its performance.

Also occurring today are elections for the city council in the capital, Dushanbe, where Rahmon’s son and current Mayor Rustam Emomali will likely win—an important stepping stone in his bid to eventually ascend to the presidency. As Rahmon approaches his 28th year in power, he is showing signs of passing on his position to Emomali. Emomali ordered an audit that inhibited his competition in 2017; do not expect his leadership to differ much from his father’s.

Expect today’s election to give the appearance of facilitating democracy to enable Rahmon to further consolidate power.

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