The head of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, was re-elected for the fifth time as president – he was supported by almost 91% of voters. Leading the country since 1992, he holds the record among the incumbent leaders of the post-Soviet republics in terms of term of office. Most of Dushanbe’s partners, including the presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, have already congratulated Mr. Rakhmon on his victory. Observers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CIS called the elections “open and legitimate.” The report of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is still being prepared, but earlier it has never recognized the voting in Tajikistan as meeting international standards.
It came as no surprise that Emomali Rahmon won the October 11 elections for the fifth time in a row. According to preliminary data from the Tajik Central Commission for Elections and Referendums (CCER), Mr. Rakhmon was supported by 90.9% of voters. This is the best result since 1999 – then he scored 97.6%. The turnout, as always, was high – 85.39%.
“Emomali Rahmon expressed his sincere gratitude to all the people of Tajikistan for their active participation in this important political event (in the elections – “B”) and support for his candidacy, ”the press service of the head of state said.
In this message, the elections are called “a triumph of unity and mutual understanding of the people of Tajikistan and the highest manifestation of high political culture and sustainable civil position.”
The struggle for the presidency this time was fought by five of the seven people who applied to the CCER. The leader of the Democratic Party, Saidjafar Usmonzoda, was refused registration because he could not collect 260 thousand signatures for nomination – 5% of the number of citizens. Self-nominated candidate Faromuz Irgashov could not become a candidate for the same reason.
The leader of the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT), the only opposition force in the country, Rakhmatillo Zoyirov did not nominate himself at all, urging party members to “ignore the presidential elections altogether.” Earlier, he also wrote on Facebook that when he returned from a business trip on September 20, he was attacked by two unknown persons and beaten.
«I brought a lot of materials about the falsifications of the leadership of districts and cities at a meeting with the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, which needed to be urgently summarized and analyzed, ”the politician said.
According to the Nastoyaschye Vremya TV channel, there was almost no campaigning for the other candidates, except for Emomali Rahmon. Information sheets about them were printed on small sheets of paper and pasted mainly on the windows of shops and government agencies. As a result, none of the alternative candidates was able to gain more than 3% of the vote in the elections.
The only surprise of this campaign was that the president’s 32-year-old son Rustam Emomali, the mayor of Dushanbe and the chairman of the upper house of the Tajik parliament, did not take part in it.
Rumors that Emomali Rahmon will hand over his post to him “by inheritance” have been spreading throughout the republic since 2016. Then a constitutional referendum was held: the age limit for candidates was lowered from 35 to 30 years, and the president received the status of “leader of the nation” and the right to run for re-election an unlimited number of times.
Thus, Mr. Rahmon, who has actually been in power since 1992, first as head of the Supreme Council, and when this post was abolished, as president, continues to hold the record for the length of stay of the current head of state in the post-Soviet space.
Most of the partners of the republic have already congratulated Emomali Rahmon on the victory.
“The voting results fully confirmed your high political authority, nationwide support for your course aimed at the social and economic development of Tajikistan and strengthening its international positions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telegram. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in turn, expressed “a desire to bring the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Tajikistan to a new level.”
Mr. Lukashenka congratulated Emomali Rahmon during a telephone conversation. “The presidents spoke in favor of further deepening industrial cooperation, including for entering the markets of third countries, and expanding mutual supplies of products,” the press service of the Belarusian leader said.
At the same time, observers from the CIS and SCO assessed the course of the elections positively.
Oleg Belokonev, who headed the CIS observer mission, emphasized that there were no violations and the elections “correspond to the principles of democracy.”
SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov summed up: “The presidential elections in Tajikistan were free, open and legitimate.” The OSCE mission report will be presented in eight weeks. Note that the organization has never recognized the elections in Tajikistan as meeting international democratic standards.