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Tajik President's Hometown Embarrased By Media Coverage

President Emomali Rakhmon opens the third agregate of Sangtuda-1 hydro-power station, Danghara district, Tajikistan
DANGHARA, Tajikistan -- A local official from Tajik President Emomali Rahmon's home district has formally asked state television channels to reduce their coverage of the region, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Ahmad Nematov, the head of administration of the Mayor's Office in the southwestern town of Danghara, told RFE/RL that state TV channels have shown at least three long programs in the past three months about an agricultural holding company, Rahmonjon, that is owned by the president's brother, Nuriddin Rahmon.

Nematov said he is concerned such programs fuel suspicions that the Tajik government's channeling huge amounts of money into Rahmon's home district and financing his relatives' businesses while ignoring other parts of the country.

Some Tajik-based analysts tell RFE/RL they are convinced that Danghara, some 90 kilometers south of Dushanbe, does receive a disproportionate amount of government funding.

As an example, the country's main celebrations in March for the New Year's holiday of Norouz took place in Danghara. Some 30 new buildings, mostly built with government funds, were inaugurated during Norouz, including what is thought to be the largest teahouse in Central Asia.

Emomali Rahmon was born in Kulob, part of the Khatlon Province where Danghara is located. Rahmon also was chairman of a collective state farm in Danghara before he entered politics.