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Tajik Opposition Parties to Boycott Presidential Vote

Two opposition parties in Tajikistan say they will boycott the upcoming presidential election, which they say will not be free or fair.

The Democratic Party of Tajikistan and the Social Democratic Party say they will not participate in the November 6 vote if President runs.

Both parties say they do not accept a 2003 referendum that amended the constitution to allow Mr. Rakhmonov to seek two further seven-year terms.

Leaders of the opposition parties say Mr. Rakhmonov's candidacy in the election will be illegitimate and unconstitutional.

President Rakhmonov on Saturday accepted his People's Democratic party's nomination to run for re-election. He has led Tajikistan since 1992.

Four other candidates have registered to run. The main opposition Islamic Revival Party has yet to nominate someone.

Democratic Party leader Makhmadruzi Iskandarov, who had planned to run in the election, was sentenced last year to 23 years in prison on charges of terrorism.

Instability, including a five-year civil war in the 1990s, has plagued Tajikistan since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.