Tajikistan holds Constitutional Referendum
Tajikistan is holding a constitutional referendum today to decide on a number of important changes. There are 41 changes being proposed and the 4.2 million voters will be able to vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The most important proposed change is to remove term limits for the presidential post as well as lower the required minimum age limit from 35 to 30 in future elections. The next presidential election will be held in 2020 and the changes will either allow incumbent president, Emomali Rahmon, to stand again or to make way for his eldest son, Rustam Emomali (28) to stand as president.
A further change being proposed is the ban of faith-based political parties which would finally remove the outlawed Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) from Tajikistan’s politics. Currently the country is dominated by the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT) led by the President; in the 2015 general election they won 51 of the 63 seats in the Assembly of Representatives. No elections since 1992 have been judged to be free and fair by international organisations.