Polls, Politics, and Polygamy

by Mark on 3/5/2010 · 1 comment

The preliminary tallying is now done in Tajikistan’s parliamentary elections that were held Sunday. To no one’s great surprise the incumbent People’s Democratic Party headed by president Imomali Rakhmon’s has secured a healthy majority (71.7%) of the votes. The Islamic Renaissance Party came in second with a paltry 7.7 percent although they are keen on contesting the count:

“The election results, though preliminary, are unfair. There was massive falsification. We find it hard to explain this to our constituents,” opposition party chief Muhiddin Kabiri told reporters.

“We will take action within the laws of Tajikistan. The Islamic Revival Party is the party of the people. We will express our protest following the legal path in court.”

Mr Kabiri said that his party won around 30% of the vote, and not 7.7% as claimed by the Central Elections Commission.

 “We will decide whether to take part in the incoming parliament, or whether to declare a hunger strike or organise a rally,” he said.

O.S.C.E officials appear sympathetic:

International monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that while the vote was peaceful, it was marred by ballot-box stuffing and proxy voting. The Islamic Revival Party said it had evidence of forged ballot count reports.

“Such serious irregularities weaken genuine democratic progress,” said Pia Christmas-Moeller, an OSCE delegation leader.

However an envoy of observers representing the C.I.S confirmed the process as free and fair:

“The elections were free and transparent, and voting fully complied with the national election legislation. The election proceeded in a democratic setting,” Lebedev told the press on Monday.

Not exactly surprising coming from the C.I.S spokesmen. I particularly like his laid back attitudes towards “irregularities”:

“Our 160-member mission visited polling stations in Dushanbe and in the Khatlon district [in southern Tajikistan], and it registered individual irregularities which, however, will not influence the final result,” he said.

Speaking of irregularities in Khatlon some of them seem to be happening after the fact. Radio Free Europe reports on charges of polygamy levelled against a member of the IRP:

Usmon Majidov, the head of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) branch in the Vakhsh district of Khatlon Province, told RFE/RL that IRP candidate Qimatulloh Murodov — who was elected to a town council on February 28 — was summoned to the local prosecutor’s office on March 2.

Qalandar Sadriddinzodal, the IRP’s leader in Khatlon Province, told RFE/RL that local prosecutors promised not to file polygamy charges against Murodov if he agrees to renounce his election to the council.

It seems that the local procesutor is quite an advocate for monogomy. Someone should put him in touch with the Family Research Council. The final results of the election will be announced sometime late next week. While unlikely to significantly change the balance of power they should be interesting to see.


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{ 1 comment }

Ekspeditsya March 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Just a slight clarification: The CEC has already provided a final vote count, showing a very slight improvement in the Islamic Revival Party’s performance, as if it mattered:

http://goo.gl/zztl

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