Suhrob Sharipov, a senior adviser to Tajikistan President Imomali Rahmonov, unveiled yesterday what looks like the president’s and the government’s strategy for the parliamentary elections. Scheduled for this September, these elections are supposed to mark the end of the civil war and sanction an equitable distribution of political power in Tajikistan. Sharipov projects that the pro-presidential People’s Democratic Party would receive 40 percent, the Communist Party 30 percent, the United Opposition including the Islamic Rebirth Party some 7 to 12 percent, and smaller groups the remainder of the votes in that election (Russian agencies, February 8).
If these figures reflect a presidential plan to produce such results, the likely outcome would be a resumption of the civil war. The projection grossly underestimates the United Opposition’s strength and appears to make virtually no allowance for the “third force”–that is, for the Leninabad region, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the country’s population. Sharipov’s projected scores would open the way for perpetuating the rule of Rahmonov’s Kulob clan with communist support.
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