Tajikistan gained independence in 1991 following the break-up of the Soviet Union. The presidential Republic has had three presidents, two of which were elected. The president is the chief of state, the chairman of government, and the commander-in-chief of the national army. Constitutionally, the president is chosen by a national vote for a seven-year term renewable only once. However, reforms to the constitution have removed restrictions on the number of terms a president can serve. International bodies and observers have often criticized the elections which are neither free nor fair.
Presidents Of Tajikistan Since The Fall Of The Soviet Union
Qahhor Mahkamov (1990-1991)
Mikhail Gorbachev appointed Mahkamov as the first president of the Republic of Tajikistan on November 30th, 1990. His political career began in 1957 with his membership in the Communist Part of the Soviet Union rising to become head of the Committee of Representatives of the Workers of Leninabad. Later in 1963, he became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Tajikistan. He served in powerful positions as the vice-director of the Cabinet of Ministers and as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan. His tenure as president experienced several periods of unrests most notably the Dushanbe riots of February 1990 and the August coup. After the coup, mahkamov received pressure from the public due to his support for the failed coup. He retired on August 31st, 1991.
Rahmon Nabiyev (1991-1992)
Nabiyev succeeded Mahkamov as president in December 1991 and retired in September 1992 amid a coup staged by pro-government militia. He previously held political positions in different capacities including as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan, a position he lost to Mahkamov due to a corruption scandal in 1985.nabiyev became the first elected president of the Republic of Tajikistan. The elections sparked disputes and demonstrations that prompted the September 1992 coup. Nabiyev then resigned from office to the safety of his home in Leninabad province. He died in 1993 of uncertain causes. He was succeeded by the paramilitary leader, Emomali Rahman.
Emomali Rahman (1992-Present)
Rahman is the third president of the Republic of Tajikistan who is currently serving his fourth term in office since 1992. As a young man, he served in the Pacific Fleet of the Soviet Union between 1971 and 1974. Rahman joined politics in 1990 after the election as a people’s deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR, later serving as the chairman of the Supreme Soviet. In his first years as president, the United Tajik Opposition opposed his rule throughout the civil war. The 1997 and 1998 coup attempts further destabilized the government. Several constitutional reforms over the years have helped Rahman remain in power for the number of terms he desires.
Ills of the presidency
The Republic of Tajikistan has experienced years of instability, corruption, violation of human rights and poor governance. Tajikistan’s top and wealthy businesses are controlled by the government making the country one of the poorest.