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Former Dushanbe Mayor Gives Up City-Council Seat

DUSHANBE -- Former Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev says he has given up his seat in the city's local parliament.

Ubaidulloev made the announcement on February 7, less than two weeks after Tajikistan's Anticorruption Agency said it had launched a preliminary investigation into possible embezzlement of state funds by staff members of the mayor's office during his tenure.

On January 12, President Emomali Rahmon's eldest son, Rustam Emomali, replaced Ubaidulloev as mayor of Dushanbe.

Ubaidulloev, 64, held the post for 19 years. He remains chairman of the parliament's upper chamber, the Majlisi Milli.

Rahmon has ruled the poor, predominantly Muslim former Soviet republic since 1992.

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

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