Tajikistan parliament paves way for president to rule for life

Dushanbe, February 5, AZERTAC

Tajikistan’s parliament has backed changing the constitution to allow the president, Emomali Rahmon, to run for office an infinite number of times, according to the Guardian.

The 63-year-old has led the central Asian country since 1992, shortly after it became independent from the Soviet Union. The amendments now have to be approved by the constitutional court and put to a national referendum. Tajikistan awarded Rahmon the title of leader of the nation last year, reinforcing his burgeoning personality cult.

One of the authors of the amendments said: “According to the Tajik constitution, a person can stand for president twice for seven-year terms. However, this does not apply to the leader of the nation.”

Rahmon, who once headed up a collective farm, was voted in for a seven-year term in an election in 2013. He is eligible to serve another stint after 2020, following constitutional reforms.

The president had already overseen constitutional reforms in 2003 that allowed him to remain in post until 2020. Tajik lawmakers also backed changing the constitution to allow candidates to stand for president from the age of 30, down from 35.

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