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Tajik Ruling Party Rejects Postponing Elections

Rahmatullo Zoirov has proposed postponing the elections
Rahmatullo Zoirov has proposed postponing the elections
DUSHANBE -- The ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) of Tajikistan has rejected a proposal to reschedule the 2010 parliamentary elections, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Rahmatullo Zoirov, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, has proposed to postpone the February elections until April. Zoirov pointed out that severe weather conditions and an energy shortage as big obstacles for the election campaign.

But Muso Asozoda, the PDP head in Dushanbe, said that some parties are attempting to cover their unpreparedness for the election campaign by citing other problems.

Ismoil Talbakov, a member of the Communist Party faction in the lower house of parliament, told RFE/RL that there are no reasons to postpone the elections and his party will begin campaigning soon. The chief of staff of Tajikistan's Central Election Committee, Muhibulloh Dodojonov, told RFE/RL that he does not support the call for a postponement because the agricultural season starts in April.

Dodojonov refused to say if the committee plans to discuss Zoirov's proposal. The head of Tajikistan's Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP), Muhiddin Kabiri, told RFE/RL that he supports the postponement due to the potential bad weather in February.

Kabiri added that the IRP in 2008 proposed to hold parliamentary elections simultaneously with the presidential election in the autumn, but the proposal was rejected by parliament.