On November 16, officials at all levels of government broke into displays of choreographed reverence for President Emomali Rahmon, who rose through the ranks from a lowly collective farm chairman to assume the top spot in the government in the early 1990s, and over the next two-plus decades proceeded to steadily concentrate power in his hands.
Public demonstrations of admiration for the president are nothing new in Tajikistan, but the trend has taken on fresh intensity over the past year. Throughout President’s Day, the Khovar state news agency, as well as other state websites, published articles about Rahmon. One piece made it clear that the holiday is intended to honor Rahmon in particular, and not the country’s leaders, past or future.
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