Government agencies and political parties react to IRP’s appeal

04/07/2015 17:49
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DUSHANBE, July 4, 2014, Asia-Plus – The Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, the Center for Islamic Studies, the Democratic Party of Tajikistan (DPT) and the Communist Party of Tajikistan (CPT) have released statements over recent appeal of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRP) to the guarantors of the inter-Tajik peace agreement.  They say the IRP does not have the right to speak on behalf of the whole United Tajik Opposition (UTO).

Director of the Center for Strategic Studies Khudoberdi Kholiqnazar says nobody has the right to speak on behalf of the whole UTO.  “It is not quite correct when the IRP speaks on behalf of the whole UTO.  Two each from the IRP, the DPT and the Center for Democratic Forces and one each from Lali Badakhshon and Tajik migrants participated in the dialogue on the peace agreement, therefore, the IRP does not have the right to speak on behalf of the whole UTO,” Tajik think tank head noted.

The Center for Islamic Studies notes that defeat of the IRP does not mean defeat of the Tajik peace agreement.  The fact that the IRP failed to win seats in parliament during the last parliamentary elections does not mean defeat of the Inter-Tajik agreement, the Center for Islamic Studies says in its statement, noting that the main achievement of the peace agreement was the cessation of civil war and bloodshed.

DPT leader Saidjaffar Ismonov is indignant at the fact that when speaking on behalf of the UTO the IRP did not inform the DPT, which also was one of active parts of the UTO, of that.  “Many members of our party were killed during the civil war,” said Ismonov, “Members of our party were also experiencing difficulties and pressure was being made on them.  But we have never relied on foreign political forces though we were the first opposition force in Tajikistan.”

The CPT board also discussed the IRP’s appeal at its meeting that took place in Dushanbe on July 4. The CPT board called the IRP’s appeal “unexpected and thoughtless.”  The CPT notes in its statement that the IRP’s claim that it was the second part in the peace and accord agreement does not correspond to “historical truth.”

“Peace and national accord were achieved in Tajikistan between the government of the country and the UTO and the IRP was just a part of the UTO,” Communists note in their statement.

“Realizing the importance of peace and national accord in Tajik society, the Communist Party calls on the whole people of the country to preserve peace and order in our country and cherish unity in society as the apple of the eye,” the CPT statement says.

The IRP launched an official appeal was sent yesterday to Russian President Vladimir Putin, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the European Union, guarantor nations and members of the Contact Group of Guarantor States – Iran, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan on July 1.

In its appeal, the IRP, in particular, notes that pressure on the party may lead to increase in level of radicalization of the population and put security of Central Asia under threat.

“The IRP has made a decision to appeal to you following an unhealthy situation that emerged in the country, in particular illegal actions of the Tajik authorities against separate individuals, parties, opposition political and religious groups,” the appeal says.

The IRP board considers that these actions of the authorities not only contradict the Constitution of Tajikistan and the General Peace Agreement but also pose threat to stability and security in Central Asia.

“Thousands of people, giving up hope for justice and opportunities of free political and economic activities, left the country while the other part joined radical groups,” the appeal notes.

We will recall that the IRP's leadership has blamed its current crisis on “government pressure” that has helped lead to the closure of regional offices one after another across the country.

Dozens of members and heads of the Islamic Revival Party (IRP)'s regional offices on June 20 and 21 announced their departures from the IRP by way of online videos.  Some cited the party's poor performance in the March 1 parliamentary elections, which left the IRP without a seat in parliament for the first time since 2000.  Others said they were disheartened by a series of sex videos involving party officials.  Still others simply reasoned that there was no need for an Islamic party in Tajikistan.  Many of the online announcements end with expressions of support and gratitude for the policies of President Emomali Rahmon.

Founded in October 1990, the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan is the only Islamic party officially registered in former Soviet Central Asia.  The IRP was registered on December 4, 1991.  It was banned by the Supreme Court in June 1993 and legalized in August 1999.  Its official newspaper is Najot (Salvation).  According to some source, the IRP now has some 50,000 members.

Since 1999, the party has reportedly been the second-largest party in Tajikistan after the ruling People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan.

In the 2005 and 2010 parliamentary elections, the IRP won two out of 63 seats in the parliament, but in the 2015 parliamentary polls the party failed to clear the 5 percent threshold needed to win parliament seats.

The party leaders said the elections were not fair and alleged fraud in vote-counting.


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