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Oct 13, 2020
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Round 5: Tajikistan, unlike its neighbors, calmly passed elections

Russian observers working in the elections in Tajikistan, in a conversation with Izvestia, reported no comments and called the voting open, free and legitimate... The presidential campaign in the republic, as expected, ended with the victory of the incumbent head of state Emomali Rahmon. Experts point out that, despite the problems, it is premature to expect a social explosion in Tajikistan, since the president was able to build a rigid vertical of power and controls the situation in the country. And although part of the population has a certain discontent, most citizens consider the development of Tajikistan more successfulthan the dynamics in neighboring countries, experts interviewed by Izvestia emphasized. And yet, the past merits of the leader are beginning to be forgotten, and the population is getting tired of the permanent leader.

According to the law

The incumbent President of the country Emomali Rahmon won the presidential elections in Tajikistan with a score of over 90%... Five candidates representing different political forces competed for the post of head of state. The rivals of the current leader of the country were the leaders of the Communist, Agrarian, Socialist Parties, as well as the Party of Economic Reforms.

The Central Election Commission of the republic stated that there were no complaints or violations during the voting.

- The elections were held freely and democratically, in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Tajikistan, with high activity of citizens. No complaints and violations were registered, - said the head of the republican Central Election Commission Bakhtiyor Khudoerzoda.

Members of the election commission at one of the polling stations in the city of Dushanbe

Photo: RIA Novosti / Amir Isaev

A member of the Russian CEC Yevgeny Shevchenko, who is a member of the observer mission from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also praised the organization of elections in Tajikistan in a conversation with Izvestia... He said that the voting took place in an orderly manner with a fairly high turnout. According to him, during the elections, much attention was paid to the prevention of coronavirus, and there were antiseptics and masks at all polling stations. Shevchenko noted that the SCO observers recognize the past elections as open, free and legitimate.

On October 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Emomali Rahmon on the occasion of the "convincing victory". According to the Russian leader, the results of the vote confirmed the "political authority, nationwide support" for the current course of the head of Tajikistan. The Russian leader reaffirmed "the disposition to continue close joint work to build up the entire range of bilateral ties for the benefit of our friendly peoples, in the interests of ensuring peace, security and stability in Central Asia," the Kremlin press service said.

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, also told Izvestia that there were no comments from domestic experts.

- We assess the organization of voting, and not the internal political situation in the country, because observers do not have such a mandate - this is always an internal issue of the respective state and society... As for the elections themselves, our observers did not make any comments, a positive assessment was given to the organization and counting of the voting results, the parliamentarian said

The incumbent head of state Emomali Rahmon participates in voting in the presidential elections in Tajikistan

Photo: RIA Novosti / Amir Isaev

Emomali Rahmon has led the country since 1992, being the leader in terms of the number of years of rule in the post-Soviet space. This is the fifth successful election for the current head of state. In the last referendum in May 2016, "zeroing" amendments were adopted, allowing him to be elected an unlimited number of times.

Piggy bank problems

Despite the high result of Emomali Rakhmon, the country has a large number of problems, said Konstantin Zatulin, first deputy chairman of the Duma committee for CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots, in a conversation with Izvestia.

- The country is in debt, as in silks. In fact, it was bought up by China at the root. In the early 1990s, the republic experienced a real civil war. Memories of her are an inoculation against repetition of protest actions that can lead to destabilization. This is a genetic memory, - said the deputy.

He also explained that it is difficult to compare the situation in Tajikistan with what is happening in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. According to him, Tajikistan has a pronounced authoritarian regime that controls the situation in the country.... The parliamentarian noted that the differences from neighboring Kyrgyzstan are quite significant. If in Kyrgyzstan it is necessary to constantly be in search of a compromise with different groups of influence, then in Tajikistan a rigid vertical of power has been built, which has so far been managed to be maintained.

Vladimir Zharikhin, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries, also agrees with this position. He told Izvestia that the citizens of Tajikistan are satisfied, despite a number of problems.

Photo: RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok.

- I would not draw direct analogies between Bishkek and Dushanbe. In Tajikistan, the attitude towards the political leader is different. According to Tajiks, Dushanbe is actively developing, there is a massive development, and in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, nothing has changed, everything remains from the Soviet era. Citizens are confident that things are better for them, although there are also many problems - for example, with radical forces, the expert said.

In his opinion, the results of the voting in Tajikistan will be perceived much more calmly than in Kyrgyzstan. This is due to the fact that, in general, Rahmon's activities are evaluated positively by the population. Nevertheless, political scientist Dmitry Fetisov, in a conversation with Izvestia, spoke about a certain fatigue of the population from the permanent leader.

- Part of the population is not satisfied with the socio-economic situation in the country. Plus there is fatigue - he has been at the head of state since 1992. His past achievements - ending the civil war and winning the territorial dispute with China - are beginning to be forgotten., - the expert emphasized.

He also noted that the emerging personality cult is beginning to irritate the local residents.

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