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Tajiks Officials Disagree On New Opposition Parliament Deputy

Muhammadsharif Himmatzoda

Muhammadsharif Himmatzoda

DUSHANBE -- The head of Tajikistan's Central Electoral Commission says he does not think the commission will accept Muhammadali Haitov as a successor to Muhammadsharif Himmatzoda, the spiritual leader of Tajikistan's Islamic Renaissance Party.

Himmatzoda resigned from parliament to protest the country's new religion law.

Muhibullo Dodojonov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that the law does not permit elections to single seats within one year of the next scheduled parliamentary elections.

But Ashurboy Imomov, the former head of Tajikistan's Constitutional Court, disagrees with Dodjonov.

Imomov said that Haitov -- the deputy head of the Islamic Renaissance Party -- would only move up from the list on which Himmatzoda had been elected, and this act would not constitute an election.