First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan

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The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan was the head of the Communist Party of Tajikistan and the highest Executive power in the republic of Tajikistan from 1924 until November 1990.


Shortly after the Soviet Union was formed in 1922 a position of First Secretary of the Communist Party was created in each Soviet Republic. The Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created in 1924 as a subunit of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic and the first Acting Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan was appointed that year. In 1929 Tajikistan received full republic status separate from Uzbekistan and in 1930 the position of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan was created. The position changed hands numerous times during the 1920s and 1930s due to Stalin's fear of keeping leaders in power for long periods of time. A number of the former leaders of the Communist Party of Tajikistan perished in the Great Purge of the 1930s. The leaders of Tajikistan were usually ethnic Tajiks with the exceptions of Mirzo Dovud Guseinov, Dmitri Protopopov and Grigory Broydo: the first one was an ethnic Azerbaijani while the last two were ethnic Russians who were appointed during the height of Stalin’s paranoia. While the symbolic value of a Tajik First Secretary was apparent[citation needed], the leadership of Tajikistan was wholly subservient to Moscow and the second in power of the Communist Party of Tajikistan was always an ethnic Russian. After World War II every appointed First Secretary was a Tajik from the region of Leninabad, now named Sughd. This was a reflection of the fact that the leadership of Uzbekistan highly influenced the appointment of leaders in Tajikistan and chose leaders from Leninabad because of its historic ties to Uzbekistan's urban centers in the Fergana Valley. There have even been accusations that some of the Leninabadi leaders of Tajikistan were actually Uzbek because their dialect of Tajik had a number of loan words from Uzbek.[1] The Leninabai monopoly on power was a key factor in igniting the civil unrest that followed Tajikistan's independence in 1991 and led to the Tajikistan Civil War.

The longest serving First Secretary was Jabor Rasulov, who came to power in 1961 and died in office in 1982. Rasulov’s successor was Rahmon Nabiyev, who was ousted in a corruption scandal in 1985. The position First Secretary was downgraded in November 1991 when then First Secretary Qahhor Mahkamov was appointed to the newly created executive position of President of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic. Mahkamov was the last First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan to also serve as head of state of Tajikistan when he resigned his office on August 31, 1991 following his support of the August Coup in Moscow. One of the most celebrated First Secretaries was Bobojon Ghafurov, a renowned scholar who wrote numerous works on the history of Tajikistan.

List of Secretaries[edit]

Historic leaders of Tajikistan[edit]

See List of Presidents of Tajikistan for leadership of Tajikistan from 1991–present.


  1. ^ Anaita Khudonazar (2004). "The Other" (PDF). University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-08-11. 
  2. ^ Neimatullo Safarov, Victor Novikov (2000). "Leaders of Tajikistan in XX-th century (1924–2000)". UNEP/GRID. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-08-11.