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|3rd President of Tajikistan|
Assumed office |
19 November 1992
Acting to 16 November 1994
Akbarsho Iskandrov (Acting)
|Leader of the People's Democratic Party|
Assumed office |
10 December 1994
|Preceded by||Position established|
Emomali Sharipovich Rahmonov|
5 October 1952
Kulob, Tajik SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||People's Democratic Party (1994–present)|
|Alma mater||Tajik State National University|
Emomali Rahmon (Tajik: Эмомалӣ Раҳмон, translit. Emomalî Rahmon/Emomalī Rahmon); (born 5 October 1952) is a Tajikistani politician who has served as President of Tajikistan (or its equivalent post) since 1992.
Rahmon was born as Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov (Russian: Эмомали́ Шари́пович Рахмо́нов, translit. Emomali Šaripovič Rahmonov) to Sharif Rahmonov and Mayram Sharifova, a peasant family in Danghara, Kulob Oblast (present-day Khatlon province). From 1971 to 1974 he served in the Soviet Union's Pacific Fleet. After completing the military service, Rahmon returned to his native village where he worked for some time as an electrician.
As an apparatchik rising through the nomenklatura, his original power base was as chairman of the collective state farm of his native Danghara. According to his official biography, Rahmon graduated from the Tajik State National University with a specialist's degree in Economics in 1982. After working for several years in the trade union of the Lenin Sovkhoz in Danghara, Rahmon was appointed chairman of the sovkhoz in 1987.
In 1990, Rahmon was elected a people's deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR. President Rahmon Nabiyev was forced to resign in the first months of the Civil War in Tajikistan in August 1992. Akbarsho Iskandarov, Speaker of the Supreme Soviet, became acting president. Iskandarov resigned in November 1992 in an attempt to end the civil unrest. That same month, the Supreme Soviet met in Khujand for its 16th session and declared Tajikistan a parliamentary republic. Rahmon was then elected by the members of the Supreme Soviet as its chairman—a post equivalent to that of president—and the head of government.
During the civil war that lasted from 1992–97, Rahmon's rule was opposed by the United Tajik Opposition. As many as 100,000 people died during the war. He survived an assassination attempt on 30 April 1997 in Khujand, as well as two attempted coups in August 1997 and in November 1998.
In 1994, a new constitution reestablished the presidency. Rahmon was elected to the post on 6 November 1994 and sworn in ten days later. Following constitutional changes, he was re-elected on 6 November 1999 to a seven-year term, officially taking 97% of the vote. On 22 June 2003, he won a referendum that would allow him to run for two more consecutive seven-year terms after his term expired in 2006. The opposition alleges that this amendment was hidden in a way that verged upon electoral fraud. Rahmon was re-elected for a seven-year term in a controversial election on 6 November 2006, with about 79% of the vote, according to the official results. On 6 November 2013, he was re-elected for the second seven-year term in office, with about 84% of the vote, in an election that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said had lacked a "genuine choice and meaningful pluralism".
In December 2015, a law passed by Tajikistan's parliament gave Emomali Rahmon the title "Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation" (Tajik: Асосгузори сулҳу ваҳдати миллӣ – Пешвои миллат, Asosguzori sulhu vahdati millî – Peşvo‘i millat; Russian: Основатель мира и национального единства – Лидер нации, Osnovatelj mira i nacionaljnogo jedinstva – Lider necí). A shorter version of the title, "Leader of the Nation," is used frequently. In addition to granting Rahmon a lifelong immunity from prosecution, the law also gave him a number of other lifelong privileges including veto powers over all major state decisions, the freedom to address the nation and parliament on all matters he deems important, and the privilege of attending all government meetings and parliament sessions.
On 22 May 2016, a nationwide referendum approved a number of changes to the country's constitution. One of the main changes lifted the limit on presidential terms, effectively allowing Rahmon to stay in power for as many terms as he wishes. Other key changes outlawed faith-based political parties, thus finalizing the removal of the outlawed Islamic Revival Party from Tajikistan's politics, and reduced the minimum eligibility age for presidential candidates from 35 to 30, effectively enabling Rahmon's older son, Rustam Emomali, to run for president any time after 2017. In January 2017, Rustam Emomali was appointed Mayor of Dushanbe, a key position, which is seen by some analysts as the next step to the top of the government.
In March 2007, Rahmonov changed his surname to Rahmon, getting rid of the Russian-style "-ov" ending. He also removed the patronymic, Sharipovich, from his name altogether. Rahmon explained that he had done so out of respect for his cultural heritage. Following the move, scores of governments officials, members of parliament, and civil servants around the country removed Russian-style patronymics and "-ov" endings from their surnames. In April 2016, Tajikistan officially banned the giving of Russian-style patronymics and surnames to newborn children, but de facto it is still widespread.
Religion and convictions
Rahmon is a Sunni Muslim and he has frequently stressed his Muslim background even though his administration is engaged in a relentless campaign against public displays of Islamic devotion. His suppression of Islamic expression includes banning beards, attendance at the mosque for women and children under eighteen, hajj for people under 40, studying in Islamic schools outside Tajikistan, the production, import or export of Islamic books without permission (implemented in 2017), using loudspeakers to broadcast the adhan, veils, madrassas, Islamist political parties and Arabic-sounding names (implemented in 2016). Furthermore, mosques are heavily regulated, providing unofficial Islamic teaching can lead to up to twelve years of imprisonment and an arduous process is required in order to obtain a permit to establish an Islamic organisation, publish an Islamic book or go on pilgrimage to Mecca. In January 2016, Rahmon performed an Umrah with a number of his children and senior members of his government. That was Rahmon's fourth pilgrimage to Mecca.
His reply to critics of the election standards of the 2006 Tajikistani presidential elections was:
|“||In Tajikistan, more than 99 percent of those residing here are Muslim. We have a completely different culture. You have to take that into account.||”|
During a 2010 Organisation of the Islamic Conference session hosted in Dushanbe, Rahmon spoke against what he deemed was the misuse of Islam toward political ends, claiming that "Terrorism, terrorists, have no nation, no country, no religion ... [U]sing the name 'Islamic terrorism' only discredits Islam and dishonors the pure and harmless religion of Islam."
Membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a militant Islamic party which today aims for an overthrow of secular governments and the unification of Tajiks under one Islamic state, is illegal and members are subject to arrest and imprisonment.
In 2017 the government of Tajikistan passed a law requiring people to "stick to traditional national clothes and culture", which has been widely seen as an attempt to prevent women from wearing Islamic clothing, in particular the style of headscarf wrapped under the chin, in contrast to the traditional Tajik headscarf tied behind the head.
Honors and awards
- Honorary Doctorate of Leadership by the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT)
- Hero of Tajikistan
- Order of Mubarak the Great
- Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (2008)
- Order of the Three Stars (2009)
- World Peace Prize Harvester’s Prize (2000) 
- Order of Merit of Ukriane (2011)
- Heydar Aliyev Order (2012)
- Order of the President of Turkmenistan (2012)
- Order of the Republic of Serbia (2013)
- Order of Alexander Nevsky (2017)
- Order of Parasat (2018)
- Birthname appears variously as Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov, Imamali Sharipovich Rakhmanov or Imomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov; all transliteration into English of the Russian forms (Эмомали Шарипович Рахмонов and Имамали Шарипович Рахманов) of his Tajik name.
- "ЭМОМАЛӢ РАҲМОН [Official Biography]". Official Website of the President of Tajikistan. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
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- "Tajikistan: Leader of the Nation Law Cements Autocratic Path". EurasiaNet.org. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
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- "Tajikistan Approves Constitutional Changes Tightening Rahmon's Grip On Power". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- "Why Does Tajikistan Need A Referendum?". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
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- "Tajikistan: regime eternalization completed?". The Politicon. The Politicon. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Рахмонов стал Рахмон, Каримов остался Каримовым [Rahmonov Became Rahmon, Karimov Remained Karimoiv]". Avesta.Tj. Avesta News Agency. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Президент Таджикистана сменил фамилию и подкорректировал имя". Сегодня. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Президент Таджикистана отрезал от своей фамилий Русское окончание (in Russian)". Lenta.ru. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Tajikistan Bans Giving Babies Russian-Style Last Names". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Putz, Catherine (17 April 2015). "Tajikistan: No Hajj, No Hijab, and Shave Your Beard". The Diplomat. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Tajikistan's crackdown on observant Muslims intensifies". The Economist. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
- "Tajikistan's Islam-Averse Leader Goes to Mecca". EurasiaNet.org. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Tajik President Wins Re-Election". The Washington Post. 7 November 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- "Top Islamic Body Holds Foreign Minister Meeting In Dushanbe". Rferl.org. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Hizb ut Tahrir". BBC News. BBC. 27 August 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- Michel, Casey (5 November 2015). "Trouble in Tajikistan: Analysts say the banning of a moderate Islamist party could unravel the country's post-civil war order". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- "Tajikistan human rights fears as banned party's ex-leaders jailed for life". The Guardian. Reuters. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- Harriet Agerholm (1 September 2017). "Tajikstan passes law 'to stop Muslim women wearing hijabs'". The Independent.
- "Qəhrəman ana - Tacikistanın birinci ledisi - FOTOLAR". Modern.az. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Rahmon Receives Honorary Doctorate Of Leadership From LimKokWing University". Bernama. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- World Peace Prize Top Honer Prize－Kuniwo Nakamura WPPAC.
- "President Rahmon awarded the Order of the Republic of Serbia". Asia-Plus. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "Tajik President awarded Order of Alexander Nevsky | Vestnik Kavkaza". vestnikkavkaza.net. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
- "AKIpress News Agency". m.akipress.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
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