Monday, May 23, 2016

Tajikistan Voters Ban Religious Political Parties

Deutsche Welle reports that voters in Tajikistan yesterday overwhelmingly (94.5% in favor) approved a series of constitutional amendments. One of them bans all political parties based on religion.  Last year the government labeled the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) a terrorist group and a court shut it down.  According to The Guardian, before then the IRPT had been viewed as moderate and was President Emomali Rakhmon's chief opposition. In another amendment approved by voters yesterday, 63-year-old President Rakhmon is now allowed to run for an unlimited number of terms.  The lifting of the term limit ban applies only to him.