Parliament expected to discuss offered constitutional amendments tomorrow

21/01/2016 10:38
Avaz Yuldoshev
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DUSHANBE, January 21, 2016, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament is expected to hold a meeting on January 22 to discuss amendments offered to the country’s Constitution.

“Twenty-seven deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon and sixteen members of Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament) will discuss the draft amendments,” an official source at Majlisi Namoyandagon told Asia-Plus in an interview.

One of the amendments reportedly says that incumbent president Emomali Rahmon, who was designated as the Leader of the Nation, can be elected head of state unlimited times. 

Part 4 of Article 65 says that one person cannot be elected consecutively to the position of President for more than two terms of office (Amended in 2003).

The offered amendment says that restrictions provided for by Part 4 of Article 65 do not apply to the Leader of the Nation.

We will recall that Majlisi Namoyandagon voted December 9 to establish Emomali Rahmon as “Leader of the Nation.”   Even after he leaves office, Rahmon will be entitled to address the nation and state officials on matters of security, as well as domestic and foreign policy.  He can also attend government meetings, National Security Council gatherings and parliament sessions. Most importantly, Rahmon will enjoy veto authority over all important state decisions.

Besides, they plan to lower the minimum age required to be elected President of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The current minimum age required to be elected the President of Tajikistan is 35.  Thus, Article 65 of Constitution of Tajikistan states that every citizen of Tajikistan who has been resident in Tajikistan for not less than the past ten years and who has reached the age of 35 may be elected President.

The amendment offered to the Constitution provides for lowering the minimum age required to be elected President of Tajikistan to 30.

If this amendment is endorsed, it will give Rustam Emomali, the eldest son of President Rahmon, the right to be nominated to run for president in 2020.

Rustam Emomali was born on December 19, 1987 and he will be only 33 in 2020.  

Meanwhile, one of the offered constitutional amendments reportedly concerns the Constitution’s articles on political parties (ban on registration of political parties of religious nature).

According to Article 28 of Tajikistan’s Constitution, citizens shall have the right of association.  “A citizen shall have the right to participate in the creation of political parties, including the parties of religious, democratic and atheistic nature, trade unions, and other social associations and to voluntarily join and withdraw from them.”

The date for the referendum on the offered constitutional amendments will also be designated at tomorrow’s meeting, the source said.

Article 57 of Tajikistan’s Constitution says that Majlisi Namoyandagon designate the date of the referendum.

Draft amendments to the Constitution have reportedly been prepared under conditions of secrecy.

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