Tajikistan profile

President: Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmon (Rakhmonov)

Emonali Rakhmon Emomali Rakhmon exerts tight control over the levers of power

Mr Rakhmon, a former cotton farm boss, was elected chairman of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan in 1992 after the country's first post-Soviet leader, Rahmon Nabiyev, was forced to resign.

He was elected president in 1994 and re-elected in 1999 when his term was extended to seven years.

In 2006 he won a third term in office in an election which international observers said was neither free nor fair. Opposition parties boycotted the vote, dismissing it as a Soviet-style staged attempt at democracy.

In 2013 he gained a further seven-year term in elections. The only serious opposition candidate was prevented from running by the electoral commission which said she hadn't collected enough signatures to become a candidate.

Mr Rakhmon was instrumental in the pro-Communist effort to remove Islamist rebels from Dushanbe in the early 1990s. He led troops from southern Kulob District and supported the intervention of forces from other former Soviet republics. After years of civil war and violence, some stability returned to Tajikistan.

The president has a firm grip on power. His People's Democratic Party holds virtually all seats in parliament. Western observers said legislative elections in 2005 and 2010 failed to meet international standards.

Mr Rakhmon does retain substantial public support. Tajikistan is still very poor, but many people are thankful they no longer have to face the civil war of the 1990s which killed tens of thousands and caused more than 10% of the population to flee the country.

Mr Rakhmon was born in 1952. His surname was Rakhmonov until 2007 when he ordered his countrymen to drop Russian-style surnames, in a break with the nation's Soviet past. He removed the Russian suffix "-ov" from his surname.

More Asia stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records


  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.