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Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov (file photo) (AFP)
DUSHANBE, April 20, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmonov today accused government ministries of turning into mafia clans and threatened to confiscate what he called their "illegal property."
Addressing the Tajik parliament today, Rakhmonov accused ministers of having "no shame, no conscience," saying that "for example, today we appoint a minister, the next month you cannot be sure whether that person is in the cabinet as a minister or an entrepreneur."
Rakhmonov said he was prepared to take "tough measures" to clamp down on corruption.
He urged officials to voluntarily declare their real estate and other property -- a move he said would spare them from being confiscated.
Rakhmonov also said his country's upcoming presidential elections will be open, transparent, and democratic. He added that Tajikistan has "experience, laws, relevant international standards, and a wide network of organizations of civil society" to ensure that the vote this November is fair.