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Tajik Election Commission Complains Of A Lack Of Funds

The last vote, when President Emomali Rakhmon was reelected in 2006, was panned by Western observers.
DUSHANBE -- A member of Tajikistan's Central Election Commission has warned that the body needs far more cash than has been pledged in order to effectively supervise next year's parliamentary elections.

Deputy Chairman Muhibulloh Dodojonov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that at least 5 million somonis ($1.3 million) is needed for the commission to conduct its work in relation to the process, while the government has said it will provide 3 million somonis.

Dodojonov added that funds will be needed to pay the salaries of local election-commission members.

Amniyat Abdulnazar, the deputy chief of the Social Democratic Party, has countered that the government should not invest additional money into the Central Election Commission because that money would not go to organize free and democratic elections.

Hikmatulloh Saifullozoda, of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party's analytical center, said that additional money could help but that opposition representatives should first be included on the election commissions.

Tajikistan's 2005 parliamentary elections were criticized as flawed by international monitors and opposition parties.