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Tajik Opposition Leader Will Run For President

8 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The opposition Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT) today said that its leader, Mahmadruzi Iskandarov, intends to run in next year's presidential elections.

DPT deputy head Rahmatullo Valiyev made the announcement at a press conference in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

Iskandarov is wanted in Tajikistan on charges of embezzlement and links to an organized terror group. He was arrested in Moscow last December upon a request made by Tajikistan's chief prosecutor Bobojan Bobokhanov.

Iskandarov's Russian lawyer Anna Savitskaya yesterday told RFE/RL that her client had been released from custody. She also said she believed Russian authorities had refused to extradite him to Tajikistan, citing lack of evidence.

Iskandarov's present whereabouts are unknown.

The DPT claims the charges brought against its leader are politically motivated.