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Tajik Opposition Cites Pre-Election Harassment

24 February 2005 -- Tajik opposition leaders today accused authorities of harassing party members and pressuring voters ahead of the country's 27 February parliamentary elections.

AP quoted Rahmatullo Valiyev, the deputy chairman of the opposition Democratic Party, as saying the election process in Tajikistan is proceeding with "blatant violations on the part of authorities."

He said those violations include censorship and interference with political parties' democratic rights.

AP also quoted Muhiddin Kabiri, a leader of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party, as saying party members are being subjected to arbitrary police detentions and other forms of harassment ahead of the elections.

Analysts say the ruling People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan, led by President Imomali Rakhmonov, will likely win the poll.

Five other political parties are participating, but most of them have had problems registering all their candidates.


For more on the elections in Tajikistan, see our dedicated Tajikistan Votes 2005 webpage. For more on the region, see our Central Asia webpage.