Real political opponents are neutralized, and the IRPT is banned in the country.
The presidential election in Tajikistan, which will be held in autumn 2020, is of great interest among the citizens of the republic for the last one a half years. The results of the voting in any country are always important for the authorities of neighboring states. Expert Yevgeny Kudryats shared his opinion with CentralAsia.news on the position of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on this political event, and the participation of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan in the relevant election. Moreover, he summed up almost 26-years of the presidency of the current Tajik leader Emomali Rakhmon, who managed to resolve the issue with his opponents.
The neighboring states will support Rakhmon
It often happens that elites from neighboring countries are interested a candidate opposed to the current government. Something similar happened during the election of the Kyrgyz president. The expert believes that Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are interested in developing good neighborly relations with Tajikistan, they are unlikely to support an alternative candidate. There is no guarantee that the “bet will play”, but the relationships may deteriorate.
- I fully admit that the leaders of these countries may not be satisfied with the candidacy of the current president of the republic, but it does not mean that they will explicitly or secretly support Rakhmon’s opponents, - noted the source.
IRPT and others
Several political parties operate in Tajikistan. Their representatives or supporters could participate in the elections. The most famous, but illegal, is the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) because of its high-profile oppositional statements. However, the expert estimates its position in the country as extremely low. He reminded that it was the only political organization in the country, but it has been banned in Tajikistan since 2015. It must be added that IRPT failed in all elections.
- This party has very low popularity, and over the years it has not been able to prove its efficiency. The success of the IRPT in the political arena of Tajikistan is very modest: it participated in the parliamentary elections in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, but in three cases it received only 2 mandates, and for the last time none at all. Davlat Usmon was nominated 2 times from this party during the presidential elections, but he lost the political event twice. Now the IRPT is prohibited in Tajikistan, but hypothetically any candidate from this party at this election will have no chance to win, - said Kudryats.
The expert admitted that if the IRPT candidate became president, the domestic policy could change towards the radicalization of Islam. According to the interlocutor, the following parties can nominate their candidates: the Communist Party of Tajikistan, the Socialist Party of Tajikistan, the Agrarian Party of Tajikistan, the Party of Economic Reforms of Tajikistan, the Democratic Party of Tajikistan and the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan. Independent parties may also take part in the election.
Achievements of the main candidate
Many analysts and political scientists believe that Emomali Rakhmon can go to the polls and it is almost guaranteed that he will become president again. Undoubtedly, in addition to the administrative resource, he has merits to the people. Yevgeny Kudryats highlighted that the current leader has done a lot for the country in almost 26 years. He mentioned the end of the civil war in the republic. The president was also able to solve the “water issue”, thanks to which one and a half million people got access to drinking water.
The expert also listed the president’s achievements: Tajikistan’s accession to the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the construction of the Rogun HPP, the creation of free economic zones, and the improvement of the appearance of Dushanbe.
However, a high level of poverty remains in the country, corruption is widespread. Kudryats also noted that the country's debt is almost 3 billion dollars.
It must be added that although not everything is so good in Tajikistan, it is unlikely that Rakhmon or his son if his father won’t participate in elections, will have serious opponents. Kudryats marked that there is almost no pure democracy in the republic, and real political opponents have been neutralized.