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World > Middle East > Tajikistan > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Tajikistan - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The Republic of Tajikistan gained its independence during the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) on September 9, 1991 and promptly fell into a civil war. From 1992 to 1997 internal fighting ensued between old-guard regionally based ruling elites and disenfranchised regions, democratic liberal reformists, and Islamists loosely organized in a United Tajik Opposition (UTO). Other combatants and armed bands that flourished in this civil chaos simply reflected the breakdown of central authority rather than loyalty to a political faction. The height of hostilities occurred between 1992 and 1993. By 1997, the predominantly Kulyabi-led Tajik Government and the UTO successfully negotiated a power-sharing peace accord and implemented it by 2000.

The last Russian border guards protecting Tajikistan's 1,400 km border with Afghanistan completed their withdrawal in July 2005. Russia maintains its military presence in Tajikistan with the basing of the Russian 201st Motorized Rifle Division that never left Tajikistan when it became independent. Most of these Russian-led forces, however, are local Tajik noncommissioned officers and soldiers.

Tajikistan's most recent presidential election in 2006 and its 2005 parliamentary elections were considered to be flawed and unfair but peaceful. While the government and the now-incorporated former opposition continue to distrust each other, they have often found a way to work with each other and are committed to peacefully resolving their differences. In June 2003, Tajikistan held a flawed referendum to enact a package of constitutional changes, including a provision to allow President Rahmon the possibility of re-election to up to two additional 7-year terms after his term expired in 2006. The February 2005 parliamentary elections, in which the ruling party secured 49 of the 63 seats, failed to meet many key Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) standards on democratic elections, but there were some improvements over previous elections.

After the November 6, 2006 presidential election in which President Rahmon secured a new 7-year term in office, the OSCE determined that democratic practices were not fully tested 'due to the absence of genuine competition, which provided voters with only nominal choice.' There were four other candidates on the ballot but no strong opposition candidate. The strongest opposition party, the IRPT, decided not to field a candidate and two other parties (the DPT and SDPT) boycotted the election.

Afghanistan continues to represent the primary security concern in Tajikistan's immediate neighborhood, although much less so than in earlier years. With the ouster of the former Taliban government from Afghanistan, Tajikistan now has much friendlier relations with its neighbor to the south. The Taliban-allied Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a U.S. Government-declared terrorist organization formerly active in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, has also been greatly diminished as a threat to Tajikistan's domestic stability. Rampant illicit trafficking of Afghan opium and heroin through Tajikistan remains a serious long-term threat to Tajikistan's stability and development, fostering corruption, violent crime, HIV/AIDS, and economic distortions.

Principal Government Officials
President--Emomali Rahmon
Prime Minister--Oqil Oqilov
Foreign Minister--Khamrokhon Zarifi
Ambassador to the United States--Abdujabbor Shirinov
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Sirojiddin Aslov

Tajikistan established an embassy in Washington, DC in temporary offices in February 2003, and formally opened its first permanent chancery building in March 2004. Tajikistan's embassy in the United States is at 1005 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037 (tel.: 202-233-6090; fax: 202-223-6091).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



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Notes and Commentary
People
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Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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