DUSHANBE, October 2, Asia-Plus - “Some officials in the government are unhappy about our decision to boycott the upcoming presidential election and they have decided to discharge from political struggle and make Masoud Sobirov the new chairman of the Democratic Party (DPT),“ Rahmatullo Valiyev, who is now the former deputy chairman of the party, said in his interview with Asia-Plus.  

According to him, an artificially formed Vatan (Homeland) faction has not had grounds for registration.  

We will recall that Masoud Sobirov held a news conference to announce the formation of the Vatan faction in Dushanbe in April. 

Valiyev charged that the faction was formed in violation of party regulations and suggested that the authorities might be behind the decision to form the faction that caused a split within the DPT.   

A group of members of the DPT held a congress on August 27. They elected Masoud Sobirov as their new leader.  But party members who remain loyal to jailed DPT leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov say the election and congress were illegitimate. 

On September 22, Sherkhon Salimov, the head of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) Committee on Legislation and Human Rights, and Jumakhon Davlatov, the head of the legal department of the President’s Executive Office, telling a seminar on Media and Right of Citizens to Participate in Political Life and Management of State noted that the congress of the DPT held by supporters of Sobirov was illegitimate.   Salimov said that according to documents registered with the Ministry of Justice the DPT leader is Mahmadruzi Iskandarov.   

However, the justice ministry’s opinion changed as the Democratic and Social-Democratic parties on September 24 said that they will boycott the upcoming presidential election.  

“The today’s situation around the DPT demonstrates once again that our country is currently on the way towards creation of totalitarian state rather than on the way towards creation of democratic society,” Valiyev said, underlining that despite new obstacles their party will continue its activity.