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Tajik President's Son To Run For Dushanbe City Council

Rustam Emomali
DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's ruling National Democratic Party has nominated Rustam Emomali, the president's eldest son, to be a candidate for Dushanbe's city council, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Abdulaziz Odinaev, a ruling party official in Dushanbe, told RFE/RL that Emomali will be a city council candidate for the capital's Somoni district.

Emomali's challengers in that constituency are Khudoiqul Hamroqul of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) and an independent candidate.

IRPT spokesman Hikmatullo Saifullozoda said he hopes authorities will not interfere in the election campaign even if President Emomali Rahmon's son loses the election.

Rahmatullo Zoirov, the head of the opposition Social-Democratic Party, told RFE/RL that a seat on the city council might be the beginning of Rustam Emomali's political career.

Zoirov added that a city council mandate would give Rustam Emomali the right to become a deputy in the Majlisi Milli, Tajikistan's upper chamber of parliament, to which deputies are not directly elected.

Rustam Emomali, 22, graduated from Tajik State University and is an adviser at the State Committee on Investments and State Property.

He was elected last year as a deputy in the Union of Tajik Youth and, at the end of 2009, also elected to the ruling party's central committee. Emomali also plays soccer for Tajikistan's Istiklol club, of which he is a sponsor.

Last year the president appointed his daughter, Ozoda Rahmonova, to be a deputy foreign minister.