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Tajik Deputy Loses Seat To Father-In-Law, Faces Prosecution

A campaign poster for Sayvali Nurov
A campaign poster for Sayvali Nurov
QURGHON-TEPPA, Tajikistan -- Tajik parliament deputy Sayvali Nurov has lost his bid for reelection to his father-in-law and could be charged with assaulting an election official, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Nurov, a former administrator in the Vakhsh district of Tajikistan's southern Khatlon Province, was defeated in his bid for reelection by former
Transportation Minister Abdujalol Salimov, his father-in-law.

Both are members of the ruling National Democratic Party of Tajikistan, which backed Salimov -- the former head of Khatlon Province -- over the incumbent Nurov.

Nurov had predicted on the eve of the election that the ruling party would do everything to ensure his defeat because he had challenged some of its policies.

Ghoib Khojanazarov, the head of a polling station in Vakhsh, told RFE/RL that Nurov assaulted him on February 28 in front of several people after he let an elderly man cast a ballot on behalf of his sick wife.

Nurov confirmed that he saw the old man vote more than once and reported it as a violation of election rules. But he denied punching Khojanazarov.

Vakhsh district prosecutor Umed Karimov said an investigation of the incident has begun.