Polls open in Tajikistan Parliamentary Election



Polls open in Tajikistan Parliamentary Election Dushanbe: Polls opened on Sunday in Tajikistan's Parliamentary Election, expected to cement President Emomali Rakhmon's power and introduce his son as a possible successor.

Polling stations, which opened on schedule at midnight GMT, were due to close 12 hours later at 1200 GMT, with the first election results expected to begin trickling in from around the mountainous country at around 1500 GMT.

The election is expected to further empower Rakhmon's ruling Democratic People's Party, which already holds 57 of the lower house of parliament's 63 seats and has dominated the election campaign.

With the outcome considered a foregone conclusion by most, the poll has generated little excitement in the impoverished Central Asian state, which shares a border with war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Most attention has focused on Rakhmon's 23-year-old son Rustam Emomali -- a professional footballer with little experience -- who is running for a seat on Dushanbe's city council, considered a possible first step in a succession plan.

Bureau Report