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Tajik President's Son At Summit Sparks Speculation

DUSHANBE -- The media in Tajikistan are speculating about the news that President Emomali Rahmon's son, Rustam Emomali, took part in the summit of Afghan, Pakistani, Russian, and Tajik leaders held in Dushanbe on July 30-31, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Dushanbe-based analyst Abdulazim Abdulvahhob told RFE/RL that in autocratic countries like Tajikistan, being the son of a president automatically makes one a potential candidate for the presidency.

He said Rustam Emomali's current political and official status would normally not allow him to take part in an international summit of such a high level.

Rustam -- who is 22 years old -- is an employee of Tajikistan's State Property Committee and the deputy chief of Tajikistan's Youth Union.

He is a graduate of Tajik State University's Economics Department and plays soccer for the Istiklol club in Tajikistan's professional soccer league.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, who is 56 years old, has two sons and seven daughters.