Masud Sobirov (file photo) (RFE/RL)
September 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Masud Sobirov says the Tajik Justice Ministry has recognized him as the official leader of the Democratic Party, one of Tajikistan's main opposition parties, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported.
Sobirov defected from the party six months ago.
The Democratic Party recognizes Mahmadruzi Iskandarov, who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for corruption and banditry, as its leader.
Sobirov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service the Justice Ministry has informed the Central Election Commission of its decision, which would allow him to field a candidate in November's presidential election.
Tajikistan's Presidential Election
Imomali Rakhmonov has ruled Tajikistan since 1992 (epa file photo)
A THIRD TERM? On November 6, Tajikistan will hold its first presidential election since 1999. Incumbent President Imomali Rakhmonov is seeking a third term under controversial constitutional amendments adopted in 2003. The opposition has accused Rakhmonov's administration of using dirty tricks and legal pressure to split and weaken opposition parties. Most observers believe the November ballot will be less competitive than the 1999 election.