Tag Archives: irpt

Tajik Opposition Party Vows to Reward Olympic Medallists

On May 21, Muhiddin Kabiri, the leader of the opposition Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) announced that his party will reward Tajik athletes who bring home medals from the forthcoming Summer Olympic Games in London. Each medalist will receive a one-bedroom apartment in the country’s capital Dushanbe. Such an apartment can cost anything between US$ 30,000 and US$ 80,000. According to Kabiri, the move aims to support the country’s athletes who manage to achieve results at high-performance international competitions despite limited financial assistance from the government. “Our main goal in offering to reward Olympic success is to support the nation’s sportsmen and to call on other individuals, political parties, and organizations to follow suit,” he said. “Tajik athletes should receive all the support they need because they represent our country and build its image. I will be happy if this also helps to strengthen our party’s image.”

IRPT’s decision to reward potential Olympic medalists has obvious political objectives. In Tajikistan, sports remain severely underfunded and even the top performing athletes often struggle to make ends meet. Therefore, by offering incentives to the Olympians, Central Asia’s only Islamic party aims to demonstrate its willingness to do tangible things for the country. Kabiri appears certain to become IRPT’s candidate for the presidential elections next year. Earning additional public support will help him in challenging the incumbent president, Emomali Rahmon, who will seek reelection for another seven-year term in 2013.

The authorities have also promised handsome cash rewards for Olympic medals. In January, President Rahmon announced that the government will pay the country’s Olympians 300,000 somoni (US$ 63,000) for gold; 250,000 somoni (US$ 52,500) for silver, and 200,000 somoni (US$ 42,000) for bronze medals. The mayor of Dushanbe has also offered one-bedroom apartments for each gold medal; 45,000 somoni (US$ 9,400) for silver, and 35,000 somoni (US$ 7,300) for Olympic bronze. In addition, Tajikistan’s largest private bank, Oriyonbonk, which is owned by a relative of Rahmon’s, has promised that each Tajik medalist in London will receive a luxury car.
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Filed under Politics, Sports, Tajikistan

Kabiri Reelected as Islamic Revival Party Leader in Tajikistan

Muhiddin Kabiri’s reelection as chairman of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan signals that he has managed to foster internal cohesion within the party and consolidate his power. It also signals that Kabiri’s efforts to reform the group find broad support. Kabiri appears set to use this support to continue transforming the IRPT into a conventional political party, including by deemphasizing its Islamic identity. The transformation of the party is watched closely by the government, which sees the IRPT as the only political force with a potential to challenge President Emomali Rahmon’s grip on power.

BACKGROUND: On September 24, Muhiddin Kabiri was reelected chairman of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). His reelection serves as an important indication that Kabiri has managed to repair internal divisions which threatened to split Tajikistan’s strongest opposition party for most of the past decade. The rift emerged soon after the party’s long-running leader, Said Abdullo Nuri, was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, and Kabiri – then first deputy chairman – became its de facto leader. His leadership was highly controversial within the party. Unlike many in the party hierarchy, Kabiri did not play any role in the Islamic opposition’s conflict with the government in 1992-1997 and had no Islamic education. Besides, Kabiri was known as a moderate and pragmatic politician with explicitly pro-Western views, which many of the more conservative party members, particularly those with links to Iran, found difficult to accept.
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Filed under Islam, Politics, Tajikistan

IRPT Calls Beating of Activist a “Carefully Planned Assault” on the Party

Hikmatullo Sayfullozoda (Photo: EurasiaNet)

Tajikistan’s Islamic Revival Party (IRPT) has announced that the beating of its veteran activist, Khikmatullo Sayfullozoda, on Monday by unidentified persons was a “carefully planned assault on the party and its members.” The announcement was circulated following yesterday’s meeting of the party’s political council that assembled to discuss the attack.

IRPT’s announcement also calls on the government and Tajikistan’s law-enforcement agencies to investigate the assault thoroughly. Earlier, the party’s representative in the national parliament, Sayidumar Khusayni, had a telephone conversation with the Tajik interior minister, Abdurahim Kahhorov, requesting proper and quick investigation of the attack. The minister has promised that the persons who had brutally beaten the IRPT activist will be found and punished. In addition, independent Tajik media associations have also said they were ready to launch their own investigation into the assault on Sayfullozoda, who serves as the editor-in-chief of IRPT’s weekly newspaper, Najot.
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Filed under Authoritarianism, Crime, Politics, Tajikistan