News / Europe

OSCE Criticizes Tajikistan Election for Lack of Pluralism

Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmon (R) receives his ballot from an electoral official during the presidential election in Dushanbe, in this Nov. 6, 2013 handout photograph provided by Press Service of presidential administration of Tajikistan.
Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmon (R) receives his ballot from an electoral official during the presidential election in Dushanbe, in this Nov. 6, 2013 handout photograph provided by Press Service of presidential administration of Tajikistan.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Tajikistan's presidential election may have taken place peacefully Wednesday, but international observers say the balloting lacked pluralism and genuine choice.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Thursday in a statement that extensive media coverage of the eventual winner, incumbent president Emomali Rakhmon, provided him with a significant advantage.

Rakhmon was declared the victor earlier Thursday, winning 83.6 percent of Wednesday's vote. His nearest rival garnered only five percent of the ballots, while his most significant potential rival, rights lawyer Oinihol Bobonazarova, was shut out of the race after failing to obtain the 210,000 signatures needed to register as a candidate.

Bobonazarova has complained that harassment from local authorities prevented her supporters from collecting all the signatures they needed.

Rakhmon's victory awards him a seven-year term in office, ending in 2020. He has been in power since 1992.

The OSCE said in Thursday's statement that being in power requires the Rakhmon administration to abide by its OSCE commitments and not taking advantage of incumbency. It said "greater genuine political pluralism will be critical" for Tajikistan to meet its democratic commitments.

  • Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmon casts his ballot during the presidential election in Dushanbe, Nov. 6, 2013. (Press Service of Presidential Administration of Tajikistan)
  • A man walks out of a voting booth at a polling station during the presidential election in Dushanbe, Nov. 6, 2013.
  • People are seen through a window as they register to vote at a polling station, during a presidential election in Dushanbe, Nov. 6, 2013.
  • Electoral officials carry a ballot box at a polling station in Dushanbe, Nov. 1, 2013.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid