DUSHANBE (TCA) — Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon on January 12 appointed his 29-year-old son Rustam Emomali as mayor of the country’s capital, Dushanbe.
Rakhmon’s press service said that Rustam Emomali replaced Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev, who was Dushanbe’s mayor for 19 years.
All of Ubaidulloev’s deputies and the heads of Dushanbe’s districts were also dismissed, the presidential press service said.
Ubaidulloev, 64, remains the chairman of the Tajik parliament’s upper house, the Majlisi Milli, formally No. 2 state position in Tajikistan after the president.
Before his new appointment, Rustam Emomali headed the State Financial Oversight and Anticorruption Agency.
Rustam Emomali is the eldest son of President Rakhmon. He graduated from the Tajik National University with a degree in International Economic Relations, and attended a course at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Rustam Emomali is president of the Football Federation of Tajikistan and the youngest general in the post-Soviet domain.
His new appointment comes weeks after Rakhmon’s third daughter, Ruhshona Rakhmonova, became head of the Foreign Ministry’s International Relations Department, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports.
In January 2016, Rakhmon made another daughter, Ozoda Rakhmon, his chief of staff. She had been a deputy foreign minister.
Several other close relatives of Rakhmon occupy important official positions or control lucrative businesses.
Rakhmon, who has nine children, has ruled Tajikistan since 1992.
Rights groups and opponents say he tolerates little dissent and suppresses his critics.