Tajik ruling party gains 53 of 63 seats in parliament

15:42, March 03, 2010      

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Tajikistan's ruling party has won a landslide victory in elections for the country's lower house of parliament, albeit with a slightly reduced majority.

The Central Election Commission said Tuesday the Democratic People's Party, led by incumbent President Emomali Rakhmon, had won 53 out of 63 seats, gaining 71.7 percent of the vote in Sunday 's poll. It held 57 seats in the previous parliament.

The election is for a five-year term. According to electoral laws, Tajikistan is divided into 41 constituencies, each with one representative in the lower house through direct balloting. The other 22 seats are proportionally distributed among parties that participate in the election and pass the 5-percent threshold.

The opposition Islamic Revival Party won two seats in the election, said the commission. The pro-government Communists, the Economic Reform Party and the Agrarian Party also won three seats each in the lower house.

Voting will be re-run in one single-seat constituency, said senior commission official Mukhibullo Dadajanov.

First deputy chairman of the ruling party, Safar Safarov, told a Tuesday press conference that the Democratic People's Party is ready for constructive interaction with all parliamentary forces.

"We are open for cooperation and constructive work with all parties that hold seats in the newly elected parliament," said Safarov as quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency.

The Islamic Revival Party said the same day it would challenge the result in court, citing election irregularities.

"The preliminary election returns are at variance with the laws of justice, simple arithmetic and normal logic," said the party's leader, Mukhiddin Kabiri, as quoted by the Interfax news agency.

"We will act in compliance with the law and we will express our protest legitimately, in court," he said.

Voter turnout reached 87.1 percent, with more than 3.1 million people casting their ballots.

Monitors from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Russian Federation Council had a positive opinion of the Tajik elections. However, representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the U.S. embassy to Tajikistan noted multiple abuses and violations.

Source: Xinhua
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