Tajikistan parliament proposes public holiday marking Rakhmon presidency


DUSHANBE (TCA) — A group of Tajik lawmakers has proposed a draft law establishing a new official holiday in the country that would mark the presidency of Tajikistan’s longtime ruler Emomali Rakhmon, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported on April 6.  

According to the proposed legislation, the public holiday would be called either President’s Day or the Day of the Leader of the Nation.

It is not clear when the proposed holiday would be marked.

Among Central Asian countries, only Kazakhstan has a similar public holiday. It is called the Day of the First President of Kazakhstan and is marked on December 1.  

On January 22, the lower chamber of Tajikistan’s parliament passed amendments to the country’s Constitution according to which President Rakhmon, as the Leader of the Nation, may be elected President of Tajikistan an unlimited number of times.

On May 22, Tajikistan will hold a referendum to approve the constitutional amendments.

In December 2015, 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