Draft law to designate Rahmon ‘leader of the nation’ worked out at people’s request, says MP

24/11/2015 17:12
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, November 25, 2015, Asia-Plus – A draft law to designate President Emomali Rahmon the “leader of the nation” has been worked out at the request of the people, the head of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) Committee on State Building and Local Self-Government, Abdurahim Kholiqzoda, who is one of authors of this bill, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, the main objective of the bill is in “strengthening foundations of the constitutional order, state independence and protection of all good initiatives of the elder of the democratic rule-of-law Tajikistan.”

“Emomali Rahmon has played a fateful role in history of modern Tajikistan.  He saved Tajikistan from disintegration, put an end to the fratricidal war and laid the foundation of economic and social wellbeing of the country,” said Kholiqzoda, “It was entirely owing to his untiring efforts that Tajikistan made good its position in international community.”

We will recall that a group of deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon have worked out a draft law titled “On Initiator of Peace and Accord – Leader of the Nation.”  The bill is currently being at committee stage in Majlisi Namoyandagon and since 51 of 63 seats in Majlisi Namoyandagon are held by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) there is little doubt that the bill will not be endorsed.     

We will recall the Kazakh parliament on June 15, 2010 passed the law granting President Nursultan Nazarbayev the right to shape policy after retirement and immunity from prosecution and he was declared Kazakhstan's Leader of the Nation.  The law reportedly gives Nazarbayev control over government policy after leaving the presidency as well as immunity from criminal prosecution for any actions taken while in office.  It also protects all assets of the president and his family.

Meanwhile, some experts in Tajikistan consider that granting the status of leader of the nation to the incumbent President Emomali Rahmon is aimed at doing away with the legalities technically limiting his right to seek reelection in perpetuity.

The President of the Republic of Tajikistan is elected by national vote for the seven-year term.  President Emomali Rahmon won a third term in office in November 2006 by capturing more than 79% of the total vote.

Tajikistan held a constitutional referendum on June 22, 2003 and the 2003 Constitution, among other amendments, set a limit of two seven-year terms for the president.  Emomali Rahmon’s election to the office of the president in 2006 counts as his first 7-year term under the 2003 Constitution, and in principle he may be re-elected for a second term in 2013, remaining in office until 2020.

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