Proposed constitutional amendments pave way to power succession in Tajikistan

Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon with his son Rustam Emomali and his family

DUSHANBE (TCA) — A group of members of the lower chamber of Tajikistan’s parliament have proposed an amendment to the country’s Constitution that would lower to 30 years the minimal age at which Tajik citizens are eligible to run for presidency in Tajikistan. Today persons not younger than 35 years old have the right to run for President in Tajikistan. The amendment was apparently proposed in favor of President Emomali Rakhmon’s son, Rustam Emomali, who will turn 33 by the next presidential election in Tajikistan in 2020, the Fergana information agency reported.   

Rustam Emomali graduated from the Tajik National University with a degree in International Economic Relations. He is a co-founder and co-owner of the Istiklol football club and the president of the Football Federation of Tajikistan. In November 2013 Rustam Emomali was appointed head of the Customs Service of Tajikistan, and in March 2015 President Rakhmon appointed his son Director of the Agency for State Financial Control and Fighting Corruption.    

President Rakhmon probably sees his son as his power successor in Tajikistan.

Tajik MPs proposed passing constitutional amendments at a nationwide referendum.   

In December 2015, President Rakhmon signed into law a bill that has given him the title “Leader of the Nation” and granted him lifelong immunity from prosecution.

The bill, passed unanimously by the upper and lower houses of the Tajik parliament earlier in December, officially designated Rakhmon as “the founder of peace and national unity of Tajikistan” and stated that he cannot be prosecuted for anything he has done while in office.

The Law also protects relatives of Rakhmon, 63, a former collective farm chief who has been in power in Tajikistan since the year after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Members of his family and their property will also enjoy immunity.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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