DUSHANBE, September 22, Asia-Plus  - The congress of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT) held by a group its members electing Masoud Sobirov as the party new leader is illegitimate, Sherkhon Salimov, the head of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) Committee on Legislation and Human Rights, and Jumakhon Dalatov, the head of the legal department of the President’s Executive Office, remarked at the seminar entitled “Media and Right of Citizens to Participate in Political Life and Management of State” in Dushanbe on September 22.   

Salimov stressed that under Article 24 of Tajikistan’s Constitutional Law “On Election of the President of Tajikistan” only officially registered political parties may nominate candidate for the president.  While according to the DPT documents registered with the Ministry of Justice its leader is Mahmadruzi Iskandarov, according to him.     

As it had been reported earlier, a group of members of the DPT held a congress on August 27.  They elected Masoud Sobirov as their new leader.  But those party members who remain loyal to jailed DPT leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov say the election and congress were illegitimate.  Masoud Sobirov heads the DPT’s faction Vatan (Homeland).   

Mahmadruzi Iskandarov is serving a 23-year prison term on charges of terrorism, embezzlement of state funds and illegal storage of weapons.  .