International Institute for Monitoring Democratic and Parliamentary Process
As a part of the long-term monitoring of the regular elections to the Majlisi namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan, a group of international observers from the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly held meetings in Dushanbe with parties participating in the electoral campaign. The group included the staff members of the IIMDD IPA CIS headed by Deputy Director Ekaterina Goloulina.
On 29 January, the observers visited the headquarters of the Agrarian Party of Tajikistan. Its leader Rustam Latifzoda commended the activity of the organizers of the elections during the nomination and registration of candidates and forming district and local commissions, as well as the preparation of the polling stations. He mentioned the transparency of the electoral campaign and drew attention to the availability and the growing activity of the printed media. The party attaches particular importance to the development of the rural areas and social assistance of the rural population, considering it to be the key element for raising the living standards in the country and steady economic development.
The party is going to involve its young members into the campaigning and ensure large-scale awareness-rising activities to inform the electorate on the candidates and their programs.
The IPA CIS observers also met with the leader of the Socialist Party of Tajikistan. According to Abdukhalim Gafforov, the Constitution of the Republic and current electoral legislation allow the political parties to participate in the free and competitive elections. Abdukhalim Gafforov told there had been no difficulties with nomination of candidates. He drew particular attention to the representation of women among the candidates (5 of 9 candidates) which confirms the implementation by the Socialist Party of the principle of gender equality.
The party is going to sensitize not only the population of the Republic of Tajikistan but also the electorate living in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The Central Commission for Elections and Referenda and diplomatic missions of the Republic of Tajikistan offer significant assistance in this regard.
On 30 January, the IPA CIS observers held a number of meetings with the leadership of the major political parties of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Leader of the faction of the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan in the Majlisi namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan Bakhtovar Safarov told about the plans of the party and the particularities of the current campaign. He explained that the selection of candidates was carried out on the basis of the multidimensional analysis of the party members’ activity of the by the regional executive committees. Bakhtovar Safarov stressed the intention of the party to maintain gender balance and told that women account for about 40 percent of the candidates, and the citizens under the age of 40 account for 30 percent of the candidates. He noted that the party would take full advantage of the Internet to campaign online using the members of the youth branch of the party “Creators of the Motherland”.
The observers also met with Leader of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, member of the Majlisi namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan Saidjafar Usmonzoda. He informed on the party program adopted on the eve of the elections that features the approaches to address the most urgent issues for Tajikistan. In the field of the foreign policy, the party supports the idea of joining the Eurasian Economic Union and views the CIS Member Nations as the priority partners on the international stage.
The IPA CIS observers spoke with new Leader of the Party of Economic Reforms of Tajikistan Rustam Kudratov. He briefed the observers on the party congress which adopted the new party program and formed the list of candidates nominated for the elections.
Before the campaigning the party is going to organize a week-long seminar which will help to balance the campaigning strategy and develop unique initiatives for every candidate which would reflect the problems of the regions of their relevant constituencies.
The representatives of the parties commended the amendment to the legislation requiring that the members of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda of the Republic of Tajikistan should be non-partisan. They claim the amendment would positively influence the electoral process and ensure the fair treatment by the members of the commission of all the candidates irrespective of their affiliation.
They also noted the high quality of the methodological and information materials developed for different categories of participants, as well as the accessibility of the training seminars and events organized by the Central Election Commission. No claims were brought concerning the organization of the electoral campaign.