PRESIDENTIAL PARTY LAUNCHED IN TAJIKISTAN.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 75

As anticipated (see Monitor, March 12) President Imomali Rahmonov has been elected chairman of the People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan. At a party congress in Dushanbe on April 18, Rahmonov took over as PDP leader from Abdulmajid Dostiev, first vice-chairman of both the parliament and the National Reconciliation Commission. Notwithstanding official claims that all regions of the country were represented at the congress, the PDP is narrowly based in southern Tajikistan, primarily in Kulob–the native area of the group which dominates the central government in Dushanbe. (Russian agencies, April 18)

Formally created in late 1996, the PDP has been essentially inactive until now. A leadership meeting last month, addressed by Rahmonov, issued a programmatic statement apparently geared to upcoming elections. That event indicated that the PDP is being slated to function as a “party of power” in the parliamentary and presidential elections, which are officially due in 1998 and 1999, respectively. The PDP presents itself as left-of-center, cautious about market reforms, Russian-oriented and a champion of “secularism.” –VS

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