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Tajik President's Son Cements Mayoral Post With Election To Dushanbe Legislature

President Emomali Rahmon's eldest son, Rustam Emomali (file photo)

DUSHANBE -- Election officials in Tajikistan say President Emomali Rahmon's eldest son, Rustam Emomali, has won a seat in the Dushanbe city legislature.

The Dushanbe city election commission said on April 3 that Emomali, who was named acting mayor of the capital by his father in January, won almost 85 percent of the vote in a district by-election on April 2.

The election win was foregone conclusion in the tightly controlled country. It cements Emomali's position as mayor, because Tajik law says that only a member of the city legislature can be appointed mayor.

Emomali replaced longtime Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev, who gave up his seat on the city council in February.

Several close relatives of Rahmon hold high official positions or control lucrative businesses in the Central Asian, which he has ruled since 1992.

Rights groups and opponents say Rahmon tolerates little dissent and suppresses his critics.