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Tajikistan's Rahmon will tighten grip on power

Friday, March 20, 2015

Significance

The stress on democracy is at odds with the recent March 1 parliamentary election, which gave the governing People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT) an overwhelming majority and eliminated the opposition. The election campaign was marked by harassment of candidates, uneven media coverage and reported ballot stuffing. Reinforcing his family's hold on power, on March 16, the president appointed his son, Rustam Emomali, to head Tajikistan's anti-corruption agency. The suspicious killing of Group 24 opposition movement leader Umarali Quvatov in Istanbul on March 5 increases fears that certain elements of the regime will no longer accept dissenting voices.

Impacts

  • The opposition will be increasingly muted and arrests of alleged Group 24 members will continue.
  • The West will be concerned about the opposition's demise; China and Russia will not worry and Dushanbe will rely on them in the long term.
  • Democratic restrictions and rising corruption may weaken the authorities, as the population looks outside politics for change.
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