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Polls Close in Tajikistan Election

The polls have closed in Tajikistan where voters were electing members of the lower house of parliament Sunday.

The Central election commission in Dushanbe declared the poll valid, saying turnout reached more than 84 percent two hours before closing.

Six parties were vying for places in the 63 seat parliament. But President Emomali Rakhmonov's ruling National Democratic Party is widely expected to win and further consolidate his grip on power. The main opposition party, Islamic Renaissance, currently holds just two seats.

After casting his ballot, President Rakhmonov said he voted for peace, national accord and Tajikistan's democratic development.

Hundreds of election observers from various countries monitored the vote.

Preliminary results are expected Monday.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.