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Tajik President Rahmon, Four Other Men Registered As Presidential Candidates

Emomali Rahmon has beeen president of Tajikistan since 1992.
Emomali Rahmon has beeen president of Tajikistan since 1992.

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's long-serving President Emomali Rahmon and four other men have been registered as candidates for a presidential election scheduled for October 11.

The Central Election Commission of the Central Asian nation said on September 14 that it had registered as candidates Rustam Latifzoda of the Agrarian Party; Abduhalim Ghafforov of the Socialist Party; Miroj Abdulloev of the Communist Party; Rustam Rahmatzoda of the Party of Economic Reforms; and Rahmon, who is the leader of the People's Democratic Party.

The secretary of the Central Election Commission, Navruz Samadzoda, told RFE/RL that a decision on the possible registration of a sixth candidate, the leader of the Democratic Party, Saidjafar Usmonzoda, will be made later in the day.

The deadline for filing documents for the registration of presidential candidates was September 11.

Many in Tajikistan expect that the incumbent Rahmon, who was nominated by his party, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions, and the Union of Tajikistan's Youth will be announced as the winner again, saying that the other candidates were registered just to present the facade that the election has legitimate competition.

The campaign will kick off on September 15 after all registered candidates receive official documents confirming their participation.

The only opposition party functioning inside Tajikistan, the Social Democratic Party, said earlier that it will boycott the poll.

There has been speculation that Rahmon, who has been president since 1992, would bow out to clear the way for his son, Dushanbe Mayor Rustam Emomali, to run for the presidency.

In Tajikistan's last presidential election, in 2013, Rahmon was reelected by a landslide, with 84 percent of the vote.

None of the five presidential elections won by Rahmon has been deemed free and fair by Western election observers.

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