|1st President of the Republic of Tajikistan|
November 30, 1990 – August 31, 1991
|Succeeded by||Rahmon Nabiyev|
|First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan|
1985 – 31 August 1991
|Preceded by||Rahmon Nabiyev|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Full member of the 28th Politburo|
14 July 1990 – 29 August 1991
April 16, 1932|
Khujand, Tajik SSR
|Died||June 8, 2016(aged 84)|
Qahhor Mahkamov (Tajik: Қаҳҳор Маҳкамов; alternative spelling Kahar Mahkamov; born April 16, 1932 – June 8, 2016) was a Tajik politician who served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan and was the first President of Tajikistan.
Early life and career
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 way 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.
Leader of Tajikistan
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.
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.
- Iraj Bashiri (2002). "Prominent Tajik Figures Of The Twentieth Century" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-08-11.
- John Payne, "Tadzhiks" chapter in The Nationalities Question in the Soviet Union. London: Longman. 1990.
|Party political offices|
|First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan
1985 – August 31, 1991
|President of Tajikistan
November 30, 1990 – August 31, 1991