DUSHANBE, February 24, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- The country’s election legislation works effectively and I see no need for making any amendments to it, the new head of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER) Shermuhammad Shohiyon said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

“Any country adopts new law only if the old one does not meet requirements of time, while the Tajik law on elections to parliament adopted in 1999, in my opinion, works successfully,” Shohiyon noted.

On the fee needed to run for political office in the country, he noted that registered fee imposed by the parliamentary elections code on individuals seeking to contest the election was not Tajikistan’s invention, “such practice is used in many countries throughout the world.”

We will recall that Tajikistan’s parliamentary elections code requires candidates to pay a registration fee of some 9,000 somoni and opposition political parties are calling for the elimination of this fee because it prevents candidates of many parties from running in parliamentary elections.

“As head of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda, I see my top priority in providing transparent and democratic elections in the country,” Shohiyon stressed.

Asked about the reason for absence of representatives of the Social-Democratic Party (SDP) in the central election commission, he noted that the country’s legislation does not provide for compulsory participation of representatives of all political parties in the CCER work.

“I would recommend representatives of political parties to more actively work with district electoral commissions and polling stations,” Shohiyon said.

We will recall that the People’s-Democratic, Communist, Agrarian and Islamic Revival parties as well as the Party of Economic reforms are now represented in the Commission for Elections and Referenda.  The CCER head and his deputies must be unaffiliated with any political party.