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Tajikistan: A Defense of Nepotism

Interesting this defense of nepotism should come as Central Asian leaders are on edge following the unrest in Bishkek, which was caused in large part by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's relentless nepotism and corruption.

The head of the Strategic Research Center under the Tajik President, Suhrob Sharipov, said President Emomali Rahmon has the right to appoint relatives to senior posts if they have the qualifications, Asia-Plus reported on April 15.

"Family links have always been used and will be used in Tajikistan. We have such a mentality that relatives try to be close to each other. Family links will always be used in our country by everyone no matter who is in power."


Sharipov said the reason nepotism isn't so prevalent in western democracies is because of "demographic problems," as Asia-Plus put it, and because families often live scattered apart.

He does get one thing right, which should give President Rahmon some pause:

"When Askar Akayev was Kyrgyz president, he was accused of appointing his relatives to high state posts and was ousted because of this. Today Kyrgyzstan's opposition is accusing Kurmanbek Bakiyev of giving high posts to his relatives, but Bakiyev's supporters made similar accusations against Askar Akayev in 2005. Now, heads of the Kyrgyz interim government have also started giving high state posts to their relatives and friends."


Several children of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon occupy high-level posts. His 23-year-old son Rustam Emomali is lately enjoying a meteoric rise in politics and is widely considered a possible successor.

Tajikistan: A Defense of Nepotism

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