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Tajik Officials Register Two More Presidential Candidates

(RFE/RL) October 11, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Tajikistan's Central Election Commission announced today that two more politicians have been registered as candidates for the November 6 presidential election, thus bringing the number of contenders to five.

The two newest contenders are the Socialist Party's Abduhalim Ghafforov and Amirqul Qaraqulov of the Agrarian Party, according to RFE/RL's Tajik Service.

The first three candidates, who were registered on October 9, are incumbent President Imomali Rakhmonov, who is seeking a third term in office; Olimjon Boboev, the chairman of the Party of Economic Reforms; and Ismoil Talbakov, whose Communist Party is generally regarded as the second leading force behind Rakhmonov's own party.

The Central Election Commission this week rejected the application of Tabarali Ziyoev, who was the candidate the officially registered Democratic Party's splinter wing.

Two opposition political groupings -- the Islamic Renaissance Party and the Social Democrat Party -- have decided not to field candidates.

Most observers regard long-standing incumbent Rakhmonov as a heavy favorite ahead of the voting.