Tajikistan’s leading political newspaper, Asia-Plus, has presented a list of the top 20 most influential people in the country. According to the newspaper, their initial idea was to compile a list of the richest people in Tajikistan, something similar to the Forbes’ list. However, Asia-Plus had to abandon this idea because it is virtually impossible to collect credible information on the wealth of Tajikistan’s “moguls”.
Consequently, the newspaper decided to ask 30 leading journalists and political and economic analysts in the country to name the most influential individuals in Tajikistan and rank them in terms on their influence on political decision-making and appointments, economics and finance, security forces, and public opinion. As a result, the Asia-Plus has compiled a list of the top 20 persons that have the power to shape the future of Tajikistan.
The list is as follows:
1. Emomali Rahmon, the President of Tajikistan. This has hardly come as a surprise to anyone. He holds an unchallenged monopoly on political power in the country, and there are no signs that this might change anytime soon.
2. Mahmadsaid Ubaydulloyev, the chairman of the upper house of Tajikistan’s Parliament (since 2000) and the mayor of Dushanbe (since 1996). Ubaydulloyev’s second place on the list is rather surprising because his influence is not always apparent.