Dushanbe: Election officials in Tajikistan
declared the governing party the overwhelming winner of
parliamentary elections that international observers say were
marred by widespread fraud.
The Central Elections Commission said a definitive count
of ballots cast in Sunday`s contest shows the People`s
Democratic Party winning 70.6 per cent of the vote, giving it
54 of the 63 available seats in the ex-Soviet Central Asian
nation`s lower chamber of parliament.
The landslide is set to strengthen President Emomali
Rakhmon`s two-decade hold over the impoverished country that
serves as a supply route for international forces in
The Islamic Revival Party, which came a distant second
with 8.2 per cent of the vote, says it will challenge the
result in the courts and will take their supporters to the
streets if their grievances do not get a fair hearing.
"If we get the permission to hold a protest, our party
has the ability and the experience to conduct that," party
leader Muhiddin Kabiri told agency.
There is wariness about the possibility of public
protests, however, in a country that remains scarred by a
devastating five-year civil war that ended in 1997, leaving
the economy in shambles.