Asia

Tajikistan profile - Leaders

President: Emomali Rahmon

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Emomali Rakhmon exerts tight control over the levers of power

Emomali Rahmon, a former cotton farm boss, was elected chairman of parliament in 1992 after the country's first independence leader Rahmon Nabiyev was forced to resign in post-Soviet political turmoil.

As leader of an armed faction in the south of the country, he supported the intervention of Russian forces to defeat Islamist and democratic rivals in a civil war that ended in an uneasy political compromise in 1997.The president has since consolidated his firm grip on power through suppression of the opposition, bolstered by Russian, Chinese and Western support for his government as a buffer against the Taliban and other Islamist groups in Afghanistan and the broader region.

The country remains poor, largely reliant on remittances from guest workers in Russia and aluminium and cotton exports.