Tajik president calls for fair parliamentary elections

The president of Tajikistan has asked that the government not interfere with the conduct of parliamentary elections in February and ensure that they take place in a democratic manner.

Nigina Sharipova

2009-12-10

DUSHANBE ― President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon has asked the government not to interfere with the conduct of parliamentary elections in February. The president’s press office also reported that in his meeting with the country’s political parties on Dec. 4, the President called on his subordinates to do everything possible to ensure that the parliamentary elections are conducted democratically.

The president also expressed the view that parties should demonstrate a high level of accountability when fielding candidates. “Candidates should not limit themselves to the instructions of their parties. Instead, they should work with the nation’s interest in mind,” Rahmon stressed.

The president also underlined that as head of state, he has a vested interest in ensuring that the elections are transparent and that the best MPs are chosen.

In Rahmon’s view, parties need to work with voters if they are to win seats. “Political parties ought to reach out to people and act in the interests of the state and the nation. People can assess the organisational abilities, degree of patriotism and human resource potential of each party, and can judge whether their candidates are capable of making a real contribution to the development of society and protecting the nation’s interests,” Rahmon said.

Tajik political analysts say that the preparations for the previous elections were more active than those being made for the upcoming polls. This is because the required electoral deposit has been increased to nearly US$1,600. Most political parties have already expressed dissatisfaction with the fee.

“Considering the financial crisis, this amount will be too much for many candidates,” says Rustam Samiyev. He believes that consequently, the elections will result in no significant changes to the parliamentary status quo.

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