DUSHANBE, September 27, Asia-Plus - We have hoped that administration of the Committee for TV and Radio-broadcasting will change its policy at least for the period of election campaign and give political parties equal opportunities but it unfortunately has not happened, a joint statement by the Social-Democratic (SDPT) and Democratic parties (DPT) says. 

The statement says that last Sunday, journalists and cameramen from the Tajik national TV attended extraordinary congresses of both parties on their own initiative.  “Although several days have already passed since the congresses, Tajik national TV has not given even any short information about our congresses,” the statement said, noting that congresses held by other political parties were covered by the national TV.  This does not fit in with statements of the country’s leadership that equal opportunities have allegedly been made available for all political parties, according to the source.   

As it had been reported earlier, the Social Democrats and Democrats held their congresses on September 24, announcing that they filed their candidates in the upcoming presidential election.  Both parties said that the condemn amendments to the Constitution allowing incumbent President to seek the third term and will boycott the upcoming election.  

SDPT leadership considers that the RT Law “On Election of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan” of 1994 does not comply with international election standards and Tajikistan’s Constitution does not give incumbent president Emomali Rahmonov the right to seek another term in office.  

 Rahmonov has ruled Tajikistan since 1992, first as chairman of the Supreme Council and then as president.  His term expires on November 6, seven years after his last election as head of state in Tajikistan.  Rahmonov was first elected as president in 1994, for a term of five years.   A national referendum in September 1999 extended the president’s term to seven years.  In November 1999, Rahmonov was reelected to a second seven-year term.  In June 2003, another referendum amended the Constitution to authorize the president to hold office for a further two seven-year terms.