After nearly three decades in power,
Tajikistan's authoritarian President Emomalii Rahmon has
gained complete control over the country. He and his
People's Democratic Party have won all elections since
the early 1990s. Rahmon and his family have built up a
cult of personality around him and seem to plan to
retain power for decades to come.
In May 2016, the constitution was amended to allow
Rahmon to run for office unlimited times. The change was
the culmination of a long-time effort to concentrate
power on him and his family.
Country facts and history of Tajikistan, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
At the same time, the age limit for a person who is
going to run for office is lowered from 35 to 30 years.
It probably happened that then-28-year-old President Son
Rustam Emomalii was able to take over power after his
father in the event that Rahmon would quickly die.
Own holiday and wisdom book
In 2017, his son Rustam Emomali was named mayor of
the capital, Dusjanbe. In addition, the President
appointed daughter Ozoda as her own Chief of Staff and
made sure that she was elected to Parliament's upper
house. Another daughter became vice president of the
country's largest commercial bank in 2017. The bank's
CEO is the brother-in-law of the president. In April
2020, President Zone Rustam Emomali was elected Senate
President, which means he is deputy in the absence or
resignation of the President.
A number of other close relatives hold high positions
in the state apparatus. Documents presented in a British
court in 2008 showed that millions of dollars from
aluminum mining had been transferred to an offshore
company owned by a brother-in-law to Rahmon.
A new holiday has been introduced solely to pay
tribute to the president and in 2017 a book was
published with the president's unified wisdom words and
thoughts on peace, national independence, the country's
history and women. Rahmon's image is visible on giant
posters in Dushanbe and elsewhere in the country. Since
2017, it has been a criminal offense of five years'
imprisonment to publicly insult Rahmon.
In addition to the family, regional networks are
central to Tajik politics. People from the president's
home district in Kulob dominate, which creates
dissatisfaction in other parts of the country.
Tajikistan has had problems with radical Islamists in
particular during the 2000s and 2010s. Hundreds of young
men have received military training from extremist
movements abroad. However, many of them have been
arrested in recent years.
The regime has been accused of exploiting the
residents' fear of the extremists. It has not
infrequently pointed out all opponents as Islamists and
terrorists, regardless of their motive power. In
September 2014, the country's highest religious leader
ruled that according to Islam, it is a great sin to
criticize the rulers. Of all judgments, the condemnation
took place in consultation with the government.
One step in the pursuit of oppositionists is a law
from 2015 that says that anyone who joins foreign
extremist movements should be deprived of their Tajik
citizenship. Lawyers who defended suspected radical
Islamists have been sentenced to prison for over 20
The fight against radical Islam has also been
expressed in a campaign to promote "traditional Tajik
behavior", including everything from proper attire, the
style of beards and mustaches, to just enough food to be
served at wedding parties (see Seder and customs), to
Don't cry excessively loud at funerals.
The 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections
Before the parliamentary elections on March 1, 2020,
around 120 people were arrested for membership in banned
Islamist groups. Among the arrested were a regional
civil servant from northern Tajikistan and about 20
employees at higher education institutions. Religiously
based parties have been banned since 2016.
The parliamentary elections were conducted without
any real opposition from the opposition. The only real
opposition party that participated was the Social
Democratic Party, which mainly brings together the
country's intellectuals. President Rahmon's ruling
People's Democratic Party received just over 50 percent
of the vote. Five other parties took place in
Parliament: the Agrarian Party, the Economic Reform
Party, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the
Democratic Party. It was the same position as in the
2015 election. The Social Democratic Party got less than
1 percent of the vote and ended up outside Parliament as
before. The turnout was 86 percent. OSCE election
observers reported that the election was not free and
democratic, citing a number of irregularities and
The presidential election is scheduled to be held in
Read more about the events in the Calendar.
FACTS - POLITICS
Dzjumhurii Tajikiston / Republic of Tajikistan
republic, unitary state
Head of State
President Emomalii Rahmon (1992–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda (2013–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
People's Democratic Party 47, Agrarian Party 7,
Economic Reform Party 5, Communist Party 2, Socialist
Party 1, Democratic Party 1 (2020)
Main parties with mandates in the second most
People's Democratic Party 51, Agrarian Party 5,
Economic Reform Party 3, Communist Party 2, Socialist
Party 1, Democratic Party 1 (2015)
86% in the 2013 presidential election, 86% in the
2020 parliamentary elections
presidential elections 2020, parliamentary elections
Attacks on government building
One person is killed in an explosion against a government office in Dushanbe.
The prosecutor calls it an assassination in connection with the 15th anniversary
of the president's entry into power. The perpetrator is unknown.
Bridge connection to Afghanistan
A road bridge across the Amu-Darja border with Afghanistan is opened. The
bridge replaces earlier ferry traffic and hopes to strengthen trade.
The president changes the name, will be called Rahmon
Rachmonov announces that he is deleting the Russian ending in his surname and
instead uses the more Tajikiki sounding Rahmon (now without "c" with
transcription from Tajik). An order is issued that children should be given
Tajik names. Some celebrations and traditions associated with the Soviet era are