Category Archives: Government

Tajik Government Plans to Initiate a Constitutional Reform

The Tajik government prepares to introduce a constitutional reform process which, according to analysts, will alter the country’s political system, possibly paving the way for President Rahmon’s son to succeed him as the country’s leader in 2020.

On February 13, the head of the government-run Strategic Research Centre (SRC) Suhrob Sharipov told Radio Ozodi that the SRC had developed a series of amendments to the country’s constitution from 1994 and submitted them to the president’s office for review. Sharipov suggested that the proposed amendments aimed at transforming Tajikistan’s “governing structure” to bring it in line with “modern trends and realities”.

The announcement of the imminent reform was apparently not cleared with the country’s leadership. On February 14, the day after the announcement, Sharipov’s deputy, Sayfullo Safarov, denied that his boss had ever discussed possible constitutional amendments with the media. Safarov said the SRC was not aware of any government plans to amend the country’s constitution. “Ideas about potential amendments to certain provisions of the constitution have been extensively discussed by media over the last several years”, he said. These ideas included introducing constitutional safeguards against nepotism and regional favoritism, and amending education-related articles, following the country’s shift to a 12-year education system. However, Safarov stressed, these were “just ideas”.
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Tajik President’s Son Appointed as Head of Customs Service Department

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and his eldest son, Rustam Emomali

Rustam Emomali, the eldest son of Tajik president Emomali Rahmon, has been appointed as head of the Tajik Custom Service’s department to combat illegal activities. Rumors about the appointment, which have been circulating in the country over the last two weeks, were confirmed yesterday by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Tajik service.

This is the latest in a series of promotions for the 23-year-old graduate of the Tajik National University’s International Relations department. Rustam had previously headed a department in the State Committee on Investments and State Property. In 2009, he was named deputy chief of Tajikistan’s youth union and elected a member of the Dushanbe city council. Besides, he was elected a member of the central committee of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDPT), which is officially headed by president Rahmon. In 2010, Rustam also became deputy head of Tajikistan’s football (soccer) federation. Most Tajiks, however, know Rustam as a soccer player in Dushanbe-based Istiklol club, which he happens to own. Unlike most other members of the president’s family, Rustam does not appear to have serious business interests. He reportedly owns a local Internet service provider, Saturn-Online, which brings little profit.

Rustam is not the only child that the Tajik leader has recently promoted to senior positions within the government. In September 2009, Rahmon appointed his 30-year-old daughter, Ozoda Rakhmonova, as the country’s deputy minister of foreign affairs. The latest appointments appear to demonstrate the president’s resolve to further consolidate power in Tajikistan in the hands of his family members.

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President Reshuffles Tajik Election Body

On February 21, Tajik president Emomali Rahmon proposed to reshuffle the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER), the country’s main election body. The list of proposed changes to the CCER’s senior management team was sent to the lower chamber of the parliament, which formally appoints members of the Commission.

President’s proposals include replacing CCER’s long-term chairperson, Mirzoali Boltuev (“in connection with his retirement”), with Shermuhammad Shohiyon. The latter was elected to the Tajik parliament in February 2010, as member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDPT), the ruling party headed by the president. He is now heading the parliament’s committee for security and defense. Other proposed changes include dismissing the Commission’s deputy chairperson, Mizrob Kabirov, and two panel members, Nizomiddin Zohidov and Saymurod Tagoev, “in connection with transfer to other jobs.” President Rahmon recommends that the parliament appoint Karomatullo Holikov, presently the Dean of the Law Faculty, Tajik National University, as new deputy chairman of the CCER. In addition, Rahmon proposes to appoint head of the trade unions in Sughd province Saidboy Zokirov, Ministry of Health official Rahmon Ziyo, and Public Council secretary Nurali Saidov as new members of the CCER (www.president.tj, February 21, 2011).
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Filed under Elections, Government, Tajikistan