DUSHANBE, August 10, Asia-Plus - The Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT) that was founded on August 10 1990 marks its 16 th anniversary today.

On August 10 1990, Shodmon Yusuf, the first chairman of the DPT, presided over a constituent assembly of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan.  

The DPT was registered with the Ministry of Justice on June 21 1991 and banned by the Supreme Court on June 21 1993.  The DPT was re-registered on December 3 1999. 

Two factions lay claim to the Democratic Party of Tajikistan: the Almaty platform registered in Tajikistan and the Tehran led by Azam Afzali that joined the Taraqqiyot Party of Sulton Quvvatov in 2004.

Some experts say the Democratic Party split into two factions over a disagreement over whether to remain with the United Tajik Opposition and fight, or open negotiations with the Tajik government.  The Almaty platform led by Mahmadruzi Iskandarov opted for fighting and was rewarded after the peace deal between the UTO and the Tajik government.  

It is to be noted that dispute its 16-year history the DPT still counts only about 3,500.  In 2000 and 2005, the DPT failed to overcome a 5-percent threshold to take seat in the country’s parliament by party slate.  

We will recall that Tajikistan’s Supreme Court sentenced the DPT leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov to 23 years in prison.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of terrorism, the embezzlement of state funds, and the illegal storage of weapons.

The first leader of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan Shodmon Yusuf currently lives in Austria.