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Tajik Parliament's Upper Chamber Reelects Speaker

Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev (file photo)
Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev (file photo)
DUSHANBE -- Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev has been reelected as speaker of the Majlisi Milli, the upper chamber of the Tajik parliament, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Ubaidulloev, the second-most powerful politician in Tajikistan after President Emomali Rahmon, has served as speaker of the upper chamber since 2000, when the bicameral legislature was created.

The Majlisi Milli has 34 deputies, of whom 25 are elected by the regional parliaments of the country's five regions.

Eight members are appointed by the president and Qakhor Mahqamov -- the former first secretary of the Communist Party who served as Tajik president from 1990-91 -- is guaranteed a seat for life in the Majlisi Milli under the post-civil-war constitution adopted in 1998.

The Majlisi Milli speaker assumes the presidential duties in the absence of the president or in the event he is incapacitated.

Born in 1952, Ubaidulloev has been mayor of the Tajik capital for 13 years.

Today's session was the first for the parliament since parliamentary elections were held on February 28.

International monitors said the elections did not meet international standards.