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  Monday, December 16, 2019
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Emomali Rakhmonov
Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Emomali Rakhmonov on a decisive victory in Monday's presidential election in Tajikistan, the Kremlin press service said Tuesday. According to preliminary results, incumbent President Emomali Rakhmonov, who was nominated by the ruling People's Democratic Party, received 79.3% of the vote with 91% turnout, and is set to serve a third consecutive seven-year term as leader of the Central Asian country. Two of the ex-Soviet republic's opposition parties said Tuesday they do not recognize the results. "We consider it [the election] to be illegitimate and the result illegal," the leader of the Social Democratic Party told journalists. Rakhmatillo Zoyirov said the result, announced by the Central Election Commission, was rigged on orders from high-ranking officials. He also said voter turnout was much lower than 90%, especially in Dushanbe. The Democratic Party also boycotted the election, arguing that the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Rakhmonov was first elected to the newly created post of president of Tajikistan on November 6, 1994. Following the introduction of several amendments to the Constitution, he was re-elected in 1999 to a second seven-year term, taking 97% of the vote. On June 22, 2003, he won a referendum allowing him to run for two more consecutive seven-year terms. Monday's election was closely monitored by more than 700 foreign election observers and 18,000 observers representing various local political parties and civic movements. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe noted a 'lack of political alternatives' at the election. However, observers from the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States declared the elections democratic and open. With a total population of nearly 7 million, Tajikistan has 3.2 million eligible voters, 91% of whom cast ballots at about 3,200 polling stations across the country and abroad, according to official data. Five of the eight political parties in Tajikistan put forward presidential candidates. Apart from Rakhmonov, Ismoil Talbakov of the Communist Party received 5.1% of the votes, Olimdzhon Boboyev, of the Economic Reform Party 6.2%, Abdukhalim Gaffarov of the Socialist Party 2.8%, and Amirkul Karakulov of the Agrarian Party 5.3%. The opposition parties, which include the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party, refused to nominate candidates, claiming that the outcome was predetermined, with the long-standing incumbent president certain to emerge the winner. Following the announcement of the official results of the election in 10 days, Tajikistan will hold a presidential inauguration ceremony on November 18, the election committee said.
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