Tajikistan. At the end of March, the leader of the
opposition Socialist Party was murdered in the capital,
Dusjanbe. He had, among other things, chaired Parliament's
Justice Committee, which dealt with human rights issues.
Countryaah official website, the peace process after the civil war in 1992-97
continued during the year despite great contradictions
between the regime and the opposition. Among other things,
the disarmament of the former guerrillas was completed. The
Supreme Court upheld a six-year-old ban on four opposition
parties, a referendum approved the proposed constitutional
changes and Parliament passed a new electoral law.
The day before the November presidential election,
opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri raised his electoral
boycott in exchange for, among other things. the release of
93 oppositionists who have been imprisoned since the war. As
expected, President Imomali Rachmonov was re-elected, and
according to official records, he received 97% of the vote.
But the election was criticized, among other things. by the
OSCE and by the opposition who did not consider themselves
given a fair chance. But voters declared that they gave
their votes for the peace achieved under Rachmonov.
During the year, Rachmonov visited the Russian
Federation, which has about 20,000 soldiers in Tajikistan's
territory to maintain peace and guard the border with
Afghanistan against drug and arms smuggling. At the Moscow
visit, an agreement was reached for the Russian Federation
to formally establish military bases in Tajikistan.
Militant Islamists who probably crossed the border from
Tajikistan to Kyrgyzstan fought the Kyrgyz army during the
late summer. The separatists withdrew to Tajikistan in the
fall. Foreign ministers from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan met for crisis meeting, and in
October the four former Soviet republics held military
exercise together with Russian troops to train actions
against the Islamist guerrilla.