Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Are Political Parties Relevant in Tajikistan?

As eight parties gear up for Tajikistan’s parliamentary election in February, reporter Muzaffar Rustamov asks political experts how much of a role they play.
By IWPR Central Asia
At a meeting with political parties ahead of the election, President Imomali Rahmon told state institutions not to interfere with the process.



Only three parties are currently represented in parliament – Rahmon’s own People’s Democratic Party, PDP, dominates, while the Communists and the Islamic Rebirth Party hold a handful of seats between them.



Abdughani Mamadazimov, head of the Association of Political Scientists, says all the parties are fairly weak and invisible; even the PDP is overshadowed by its leader, President Rahmon.



Some analysts questioned whether a multi-party system can work in Tajikistan, while others said parties were essential but needed to become more active and perhaps merge to articulate common, more clearly defined policy aims.

More IWPR's Global Voices