DUSHANBE – Tajikistan's parliament has approved new amendments to the country's election laws, making it mandatory for lawmakers to be able to speak Tajik fluently.
The new changes stipulate that without fluency in Tajik no one can stand as a candidate in local or national elections.
It remains unclear whether nominees will be required to pass language tests to qualify for elections.
Tajik media and the State Language Committee have repeatedly criticized what they call lawmakers and officials' inability to speak "pure" Tajik as well as their tendency to even deliver even official speeches in their local dialects instead.
Since 2009, proficiency in Tajik has become mandatory for all state employees.