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TAJIKISTAN


 

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,303 1,208 1,100 148
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 190 180 180 197
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
143,100 

Population 
7,011,556

Principal 
ethnic groups 
Tajiks 62.3%
Uzbeks 23.5%
Russians 17.6%

Capital 
Dushanbe

Currency 
Tajik Somoni

President 
Emomali Rakhmonov



Update No: 290 - (03/03/05)

Rigged elections
Two Central Asian nations were in political limbo after flawed parliamentary elections on February 27th fuelled opposition calls for Ukrainian-style revolution on the borders of China. 
Western observers denounced polls in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, although monitors from former Soviet states said that they were fair Both nations are strategically important: Kyrgyzstan hosts a US and a Russian air base, and Tajikistan's porous border with Afghanistan - a heroin smuggling route - is patrolled by Russian troops. 
In Tajikistan the ruling party claimed to have won 80 per cent of the vote. The People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan is headed by the President of the republic, Emomali Rakhmonov. It received 17, out of 22, seats in the parliament in accordance with the party list vote. 
Peter Eicher, the head of the OSCE mission there, said that the turnout of 88 per cent had been suspiciously high and the result had been influenced by abuse of government resources and state media bias. A coalition of opposition parties is threatening to boycott the Government and parliament unless new elections are held - a most unlikely event. 

Tajik opposition moves against election results 
The parliamentary elections were held in accordance with the scenario of the power structures, deputy chairman of the Party of Islamic Revival of Tajikistan Mukhiddin Kabiri told reporters on March 1st in Dushanbe. This party was the core of the so-called United Tajik Opposition which waged an armed war against the government in the middle of the 1990s. 
"The February 27 elections in Tajikistan are a tragedy, they undermined their belief in democracy," he said. According to him, his party had sent in a number of applications to the Central Election Commission, the city court and the Prosecutor about the violations during the elections. "If the results of these elections are not annulled, run-off elections should be called and not only in Dushanbe but also in the regions where violations took place," Mukhiddin Kabiri believes. "The President should recall his promises before the elections; he said that they would be democratic and transparent," the deputy chairman said. 
Speaking about the participation of his party in meetings for annulling the results of the elections Mukhitddin Kabiri said: "We shall act within the framework of the law, and even if we do not participate in the meetings, we shall support their participants morally." 
Mukhitddin Kabiri and the leaders of four political parties of the country (the Communist Party, the Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Social Party) have signed an application, addressed to President Emomali Rakhmonov, that they do not recognize the results of the elections. 
As the head of the Central Election Commission, Mirzoali Baltuyev, said, under the party list vote the Communist Party received three seats and the Party of the Islamic Revival of Tajikistan - two. Other 41 deputies were elected in single mandate districts. According to the Central Election Commission head, at the present moment the names of 38 elected single mandate deputies are known: 32 are members of the People's Democratic Party, one - communist and five - non-party people, Mirzoali Baltuyev said. 

Central Asian stasis
It is extremely doubtful that the opposition will make any headway. Tajikistan is an extremely backward and poor country in Central Asia, with primitive communications and an absence of a critical press. This was not previously a nation but an administrative area of the Soviet Union, so there is very little sense of nationhood. The tribe, in this remote mountainous territory, has been a more meaningful form of social organisation for time out of mind. It is as unlike Georgia or Ukraine as could be - far more like Afghanistan to its south.
They are in Europe and have been in touch with developments in the West. In Central Asia Washington backs this regime for its own reasons, to do of course with Afghanistan. It sees real political change, such as is occurring in Georgia and Ukraine as impossible for the moment. This is indeed realistic.
Rakhmanov has given himself the right to stand in presidential elections until 2020. It is perhaps not until then that one might expect changes, although as events elsewhere have shown, it is impossible to predict any distance ahead. 

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ENERGY

Tajikistan, Russia and Iran sign power deal

Representatives of Tajikistan, Russia and Iran in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, signed a contract for the construction of a cascade of Sangtudin hydropower plants, Asia-Plus reported recently.
"It is a single technical project. Sangtudin power plant 1 will be built by the Unified Energy Systems (UES) of Russia and Sangtudin power plant 2 will be built by Iran," Tajikistan's power Industry Minister, Dzhurabek Nurmakhmadov, said after the tripartite talks.
After the meeting of the sides a trilateral protocol on the construction of the cascade and two bilateral protocols were signed between Tajikistan and Russia on building Sangtudin power plant 1 and between Tajikistan and Iran on the construction of Sangtudin power plant 2.

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TRANSPORT

Tajikistan road through Chitral in the works

The Tajik government plans to construct a €90m road through the Boroghil Pass in the Yarkhun valley to link Pakistan with the Central Asian states, New Europe reported recently. 
A Nespak (National Engineering Services of Pakistan) pre-feasibility report recommending the Wakhan-Chitral route for the import of 1,000 megawatts electricity from Tajikistan to meet the country's burgeoning power demands was also confirmed.
To link Chitral with other parts of the country through an all-weather route, the government has already sanctioned the Lowari rail tunnel project. Work on the project is slated to begin in May, which would take four years for completion. The proposed projects would open up the district, which was cut off from the rest of the country in winter, to new era of prosperity and development besides boosting the national economy and regional trade, Asia-Plus reported. Federal Minister for Water and Power Liaquat Ali Jatoi told Nespak to finalise and submit the feasibility report of the road project to the federal cabinet for approval.
Of the 13 passes, which lead to Afghanistan from Chitral district, the Boroghil Pass is the easiest and lowest in altitude. The pass is very easy to travel over the undulating Pamir and closes only for a very short period late in winter.
Wakhan is a 13 to 65km wide strategic strip in the northeast of Afghanistan with a length of about 300km. The area links Afghanistan with Pakistan in the south, Tajikistan in the north and China in the east.
The Wakhan-Boroghil route has been preferred against the one passing through the central parts of Afghanistan due to security situation in the neighbouring country. The road would link the 12,484ft high Boroghil Pass at the north-west of the Yarkhun valley in Chitral with Sarhad-i-Langar in Wakhan at a distance of about 95km and move on to Iskashim in Tajikistan leading to the Tajik capital Dushanbe via the Korung-Kalai Chumb and Kulob areas.
From the Boroghil Pass, the road will traverse down the over 300km long valley and reach Peshawar. The distance from Tajikistan to Peshawar via the Wakhan-Chitral route is estimated to be 700km. President Gen Pervez Musharraf has already sanctioned a number of road projects aimed to inter-link Northern Areas and Chitral to develop the communication network in the area and promote tourism potential of the region.

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