Four candidates to contest a parliamentary seat in Tajikistan

Four candidates to contest a parliamentary seat in Tajikistan

Four persons applied to the electoral commission of Dushanbe's constituency # 3 (Shohmansour district) on November 3 for registration as candidates to run in a parliamentary by-election scheduled for December 18, the electoral commission head Abdullo Kholiqov said, Asia-Plus reported.

"We have received documents from Mr. Abduhalim Gafarov, Chairman of the Socialist Party of Tajikistan (SPT), Mr. Abduqahhor Tursunov, Vice-Chancellor of Tajik Technical University, Mr. Suhrob Sharipov, representative of the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDP), and Mr. Suhrob Oymahmadov, representative of the Party of Economic Reforms of Tajikistan.

By Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER)'s decision registration of candidates will last till November 19.

At the beginning of this week, leader of the Social-Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT) Rahmatillo Zoirov called for boycott of parliamentarian by-election in Dushanbe's constituency # 3. Zoirov says he has called for boycott of the by-election because representatives of political parties were not included in commissions at polling stations. "The fate of elections in our country is decided in the polling station electoral commissions," Zoirov told Asia-Plus in an interview. "Members of these commissions usually include representatives of local authorities who support candidates of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP)."

The by-election will be held in the Shohmansour constituency to fill a seat in the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan's lower chamber of parliament) as Safarali Rajabov, who represented the Shohmansour constituency in the lower house of parliament, died on October 5.

Meanwhile, Tajik opposition parties have not proposed any candidates to take part in the by-election in the Shohmansour constituency.

According to Radio Liberty's Tajik Service, some opposition party officials say the Socialist Party nominated a candidate simply to create the impression that the election will be democratic. They said the Socialist Party candidate has no chance of winning against Suhrob Sharipov.

The Islamic Revival Party (IRP) agreed that opposition party officials should be represented on election commissions, but at the same time the IPR does not support the idea of a boycott, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported. The IRP said all party members in the Shohmansour constituency are free to vote or not, as they wish.

The Communist Party argued that the election law should be amended to lower the amount of money candidates must pay as a nonrefundable deposit in the event a candidate is not elected. The current required deposit of 7,000 somoni (about $1,500) is equal to about 200 minimum monthly salaries in Tajikistan. The Communists also disagreed with the boycott of the by-election and said their members are free to vote for "the best candidate" in Shohmansour, Referral's Tajik Service noted.

We will recall that of 63 seats in the Majlisi Namoyandagon, 22 seats come from party lists. The remainder is elected in first-past-the-post races.

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