NGOs Push for Election Monitoring Rights

A group of Tajik NGOs has asked the country’s parliament to change the law to allow independent monitoring of elections by local organisations.

NGOs Push for Election Monitoring Rights

A group of Tajik NGOs has asked the country’s parliament to change the law to allow independent monitoring of elections by local organisations.

Saturday, 14 March, 2009
Farzona Abdulqaisova reports for IWPR that the aim is to ensure that when the next parliamentary election is held in 2010, there is more scrutiny to ensure government officials do not interfere in the electoral process or in the count.



Abdughani Mamadazimov, head of the Association of Political Scientists, says Tajik elections are attended by foreign observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CIS, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO, but that the country really needs to have its own monitors as well.



The OSCE generally finds numerous faults with the conduct of Tajik elections, while the Russian-led CIS and SCO sing their praises.



“So a potential voter is going to say, ‘I don’t get it at all; on the one hand they accuse us of not coming up to international standards, yet two other organisations praise us. What’s the verdict, then?’” said Mamadazimov.



Rahmatullo Valiev, deputy head of the opposition Democratic Party of Tajikistan, claims there was so much fraud in the last election that in many cases, the wrong candidate was handed victory. He argues that this alienates the electorate from their representatives.



In vox pops conducted by IWPR outside the Tajik parliament building, many people said they could not remember who they voted for in 2005, or else they were not really aware who the candidates were at the time.
Tajikistan
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