Tajik opposition to challenge 'unfair' poll in court

Tajik opposition to challenge `unfair` poll in court Dushanbe: Tajikistan's embattled opposition said today it would challenge in court the results of last weekend's legislative elections, after observers said they had uncovered evidence of massive fraud.

The Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) does not recognise the legitimacy of the contest, which they said had been stolen by President Emomali Rakhmon's People's Democratic Party, party chief Muhiddin Kabiri told reporters.

"The election results, though preliminary, are unfair. There was massive falsification. We find it hard to explain this to our constituents," he said.

"We will take action within the laws of Tajikistan. The Islamic Renaissance Party is the party of the people. We will express our protest following the legal path in court."

Long-time leader Rakhmon's party crushed the opposition, winning 45 of the parliament's 63 seats, with an additional nine nominally independent seats going to local leaders seen as loyal to the president.

The IRP netted just two seats, with the handful of other seats also going to minority parties including the Communists.

But monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the poll failed to meet many basic democratic commitments, and the US embassy in Dushanbe slammed the elections as "beset by fraud."