Tajikistan leader Rahmon wins vote with over 90%
Published: 12:55 PM, 12 October 2020 Updated: 03:48 PM, 12 October 2020
Tajikistan’s leader Emomali Rahmon was cruising to victory with over 90 percent of the vote Monday following a presidential election where he faced only “token” opposition.
According to the country’s Central Electoral Commission, 90.9 percent of voters had cast their ballot for the Emomali who will secure a fresh seven-year term as per the preliminary results.
“Turnout was over 85 percent,” the election commission said.
The win will allow Emomali Rahmon to overtake Kazakhstan’s recently retired Nursultan Nazarbayev’s three decades in power which is the longest-ruling period in the former Soviet Union’s history.
While disputed ballots in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and fellow former Soviet republic Belarus have triggered massive upheaval, similar developments appear unlikely in Tajikistan, however, Rahmon and his government face unprecedented challenges after the weakest economy of all Soviet successor states joined others in being battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bleak economic outlook also raises questions about how the government will be able to service external debt, equating to more than a third of GDP, with China a leading debt-holder.
But voters in the capital Dushanbe overwhelmingly told AFP that they intended to vote for Rakhmon, with many citing “the importance of peace and stability more than two decades after the conclusion of a bitter civil war”.