Saturday, October 13, 2007

What Happened In Tajikistan?

Tajikistan held presidential elections on November 6, 2006. Emomali Sharifovich Rahmonov, the incumbent, and a member of the dominant People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan, was re-elected. Not without controversy, the constitutional provisions that would prevent him from seeking further terms in office have been removed.

In early 2007 various Russian news sources reported that Rahmonov announced that he had changed his last name to Rahmon, dropping the Russian ending -ov, and that he urges other Tajiks to follow his example and return to their cultural and national roots.

Starting on March 20, 2007, official web sites of Tajikistan started using the surname Rahmon.

Rahmon is a Sunni Muslim and has performed the hajj when he went to Mecca on March 1997. He has called for closer ties with other Muslim nations in the region, notably the Persian speaking nations of Iran and Afghanistan.

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