Qahhor Mahkamov

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Qahhor Mahkamov
1st President of the Republic of Tajikistan
In office
November 30, 1990 – August 31, 1991
Succeeded by Rahmon Nabiyev
Full member of the 28th Politburo
In office
14 July 1990 – 29 August 1991
Personal details
Born (1932-04-16) April 16, 1932 (age 82)
Khujand, Tajik SSR
Nationality Tajik

Qahhor Mahkamov (Tatar: Қаҳҳор Маҳкамов; alternative spelling Kahar Mahkamov; born April 16, 1932) served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan and was the first President of Tajikistan.

Early life and career[edit]

Mahkamov was born into a working-class family in the northern city of Khujand on April 16, 1932. He graduated from Dushanbe Industrial Technicom in 1950 and from the Leningrad Institute of Mountain Mining in 1953 with a degree in engineering. He worked as a professor, head engineer, and director of a mine in Isfara. In 1957 he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and quickly worked his into the high ranks of the Communist Party of Tajikistan, becoming head of the prestigious Committee of the Representatives of the Workers of Leninabad. In 1963 Mahkamov was appointed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Tajikistan and from 1963 until 1982 he was Head of the Central Planning and the Vice-Director of the Cabinet of the Ministers of Tajikistan, one of the most power positions in the republic.[1]

Leader of Tajikistan[edit]

In 1985 Rahmon Nabiyev was ousted in a corruption scandal as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan and Mahkamov was chosen to succeed him. Mahkamov's tenure was one of the most turbulent in the republic's history. His accession to power coincided with that of Mikhail Gorbachev and the advent of Perestroika and Glasnost. During Mahkamov's reign in power Tajikistan saw a surge in nationalism, which culminated in the passage of the 1989 ‘’Language Law’’ that designated Tajik the official language of the republic. This law elicited a great deal of fear among the population and an exodus of the non-Central Asian population began, especially amongst ethnic Russians, Jews and Germans.[2]

The greatest threat to Mahkamov's power came during the February 1990 Dushanbe riots that rocked the capital. Tajik youths clashed with non-Tajiks and battles were fought in the streets of Dushanbe between rioters and police and soldiers, resulting in dozens of deaths. Mahkamov oversaw a crackdown on Islamic fundamentalists and a lengthy curfew was put in place. He served as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (head of state) from 12 April to 30 November 1990. As part of the political reforms that Gorbachev was instituting the Supreme Soviet of Tajikistan appointed Mahkamov the first President of Tajikistan on 30 November 1990. Mahkamov's fall from power came in August 1991 when he supported the failed August Coup by hardliners in Moscow. Protestors took to the streets and demanded Mahkamov's ouster from power and on August 31, 1991 he resigned his positions as President and First Secretary. Mahkamov then retired from politics and sat on the sidelines during the ensuing political instability and Civil War in Tajikistan.

In 2000 Mahkamov was appointed a member of the National Assembly of Tajikistan by the order of the President Emomali Rahmonov.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Iraj Bashiri (2002). "Prominent Tajik Figures Of The Twentieth Century". Retrieved 2006-08-11. 
  2. ^ John Payne[disambiguation needed], "Tadzhiks" chapter in The Nationalities Question in the Soviet Union. London: Longman. 1990.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rahmon Nabiyev
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan
1985 – August 31, 1991
Succeeded by
?
Political offices
Preceded by
None
President of Tajikistan
November 30, 1990 – August 31, 1991
Succeeded by
Qadriddin Aslonov