The most extensive personnel shake-up of President Imomali Rahmon’s almost two decades in power is going on in Tajikistan. The turnover in the top echelons of government indicates that media outlets are playing an effective watchdog role in Tajik society.
Rahmon launched the shake-up in early January, sacking several ministers including a close relative, Education Minister Abdujabbor Rahmonov. He also reshuffled top security officials. Subsequently, high-ranking national security and law enforcement officers were arrested for drug trafficking. In addition, the state anti-corruption agency made several high-profile arrests of school directors for allegedly soliciting bribes from students and parents. Corruption in the education system is one of the most sensitive public issues in Tajikistan today.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.