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Tajik Election Winner Threatened With Polygamy Charges


International election monitors said the Tajik vote was neither fair nor free and did not meet international standards.

International election monitors said the Tajik vote was neither fair nor free and did not meet international standards.

QURGHON-TEPPA, Tajikistan -- The winner of a local election in southern Tajikistan is being told to renounce his victory or face polygamy charges, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Usmon Majidov, the head of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) branch in the Vakhsh district of Khatlon Province, told RFE/RL that IRP candidate Qimatulloh Murodov -- who was elected to a town council on February 28 -- was summoned to the local prosecutor's office on March 2.

Qalandar Sadriddinzodal, the IRP's leader in Khatlon Province, told RFE/RL that local prosecutors promised not to file polygamy charges against Murodov if he agrees to renounce his election to the council.

Varqa Zainiddinov, the regional prosecutor's office spokesman, said that since polygamy is illegal anyone with more than one wife "should and would be brought to trial."

The IRP officially won 7.7 percent of the vote in the parliamentary elections and received two seats in the parliament's lower chamber. It finished a distant second to the ruling People's Democratic Party.

IRP leader Muhiddin Kabiri called the elections "repressive." International election-monitoring organizations said the vote was neither fair nor free and did not meet international standards.
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