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Amid Fraud Allegations, Tajikistan’s Rahmon Secures Fifth Term In Tightly Controlled Vote

Tajikistan’s authoritarian President Emomali Rahmon has been reelected for a fifth term with nearly 91 percent of the vote, according to preliminary official results, following a tightly controlled and largely ceremonial election.

The Central Asian nation’s Central Election Commission said on October 12 that 90.92 percent of voters had cast their ballots for Rahmon, who will secure another seven-year term, according to preliminary results.

CEC Chairman Bakhtiyor Khudoyorzoda said that 85.4 percent of the electorate had cast their ballots in the October 11 polls.

In power since 1992, Rahmon has won four consecutive presidential elections, none of which was deemed free or fair by Western monitors. He holds the dubious distinction of being the only post-Soviet autocrat in power longer than Belarus’s Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The election comes as Tajikistan’s economic woes deepen amid the COVID-19 pandemic as hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are unable to travel to Russia for jobs not available at home, halting a flow of remittances needed to prop up the local economy.

The 68-year-old Rahmon was running against four little-known candidates that represent pro-government parties in the country’s rubber-stamp parliament. They are widely seen as little more than a facade to give the vote the appearance of competition.

According to the preliminary results, Rustam Latifzoda from the Agrarian Party received 3.03 percent of the vote; Rustam Rahmatzoda from the Party of Economic Reforms got 2.15 percent; Miroj Abdulloev from the Communist Party received 1.17 percent; and Abduhalim Ghafforzoda from the Socialist Party got 1.49 percent.

CEC officials said that the final results will be officially announced within a week.

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