The introduction of additional legal restrictions on “family hire” in public service and the recent warnings by senior officials against nepotistic practices in government indicate that the Tajik authorities recognize the political risks stemming from nepotism. This recognition appears to be linked with the political upheavals in Kyrgyzstan and, more recently, the Arab world. However, a genuine anti-nepotism agenda of the Tajik government is unlikely because President Rahmon himself has virtually monopolized political and economic power in the hands of his family. Therefore, the government’s declared anti-nepotism crusade appears to be designed for public consumption.
BACKGROUND: On October 12, the lower chamber of Tajikistan’s parliament approved changes to the 2007 Law on Corruption. The amendments introduce stronger restrictions on “family hire” in public service by broadening the group of “close relatives” who cannot be hired by senior state officials to work in their agencies. This group now includes spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters, as well as sons-in-law and daughters-in-law and their parents.