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Tajik Political Parties Protest Cost Of Running In Election

Rahmatillo Zoirov
Rahmatillo Zoirov
DUSHANBE -- Tajik political parties are calling for the elimination of the fee needed to run for political office in the country.

Social Democratic Party head Rahmatillo Zoirov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that the fee -- 5,000 somonis, or some $1,300 -- is unconstitutional because the money is not returned after the election.

The ruling National Democratic Party has also been asked to join the campaign against the fee.

Proponents of the fee say it is nessesary to prevent irresponsible candidates from being elected to parliament.

Central Election Commission representative Muhibulloh Dodojonov said the fee will not be eliminated but that it may be lowered.

The average Tajik monthly salary is about $60.

A similar fee was outlawed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week.