Tajikistan president Rakhmonov re-elected | india | Hindustan Times
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Tajikistan president Rakhmonov re-elected

Imomali Rakhmonov has been criticised by opponents for crushing civil rights, jailing dissidents and allowing only a token opposition.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 11:11 IST

Tajik leader Imomali Rakhmonov, in power since 1992, won re-election in his Central Asian state with 76.4 per cent of the votes on Tuesday, official results showed.

Opposition parties boycotted Monday's presidential election, saying it was not democratic.

Rakhmonov, 54, has been criticised by opponents for crushing civil rights, jailing dissidents and allowing only a token opposition.

Western observers said they registered a number of irregularities, including cases of ballot stuffing, additional voter lists and identical signatures on ballot papers.

Mirzoali Boltuyev, head of the central election commission, told Reuters Rakhmonov's closest rival, Olimzhon Boboyev of the Economic Reform party, received 7.2 per cent of the votes. Turnout was 91 per cent.

Rakhmonov's victory margin seemed modest compared to his last win in a presidential poll in 1999 with 96.4 per cent of the votes.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe was due to give its assessment of the vote later on Tuesday.

Tajikistan is a strategic country sharing a long border with Afghanistan and is a close ally of the United States in Washington's war against terrorism.

The Central Asian country, most of whose seven million people live in grinding poverty, has never held an election judged free and fair by Western monitors. Rakhmonov's four election rivals were officials from state-friendly parties.