Saturday, October 21, 2006

Incumbent President's Legitimacy Under Question


Few days ago I got back from my boring night shift early in the morning and obviously could not go to bed straight away; sunrays were too beautiful to ignore. Opened my lap-top and started chatting with Esfandiar in Dushanbe who was trying to begin his working day, but found himself under numerous annoying questions of a sleepless buddy far away in Prague.

Apparently he had talked to a couple of Social Democrats about the 2003 Constitutional Amendments and their impact on the incumbent president. He opened my eyes to a terrific fact that visibly demonstrates illegitimacy of Emamali Rahmanov’s candidacy in the forth-coming election.

We had talked about it with Rahmatollah Zaerov (the leader of Social Democrats) so many times before at the BBC, but his answers were too vague to clarify what was happening indeed. But I knew that Zaerov’s position had shaken up the government on those days. It was a couple of years ago. Zaerov was widely ignored by the local media and the government; he himself finished up at a hospital bed with a stroke. However, after I started studying the case with Esfandiar’s help, a horrible picture started unfolding:

Following a national referendum in Tajikistan in 2003, where we were supposed to approve or disapprove 56 constitutional changes at once, it was announced that Emamali Rahmanov had been allowed to run for another two terms – in 2006 and 2013. But there is a chapter called “Transitional regulations” at the bottom of the very Constitutional Amendments and one of its paragraphs reads (word by word):

“3. Presidential elections for two successive terms, stipulated by fourth part of Principle 65, begin upon termination of powers of the operating President.”

That means Rahmanov is not allowed to run for another term until his presidential powers are in force. Question: When do they terminate actually, these “presidential powers”? Principle 67 of the Tajik Constitution sheds some light:

“Powers of the President terminate after the swearing-in of the new president-elect.”

That means the amendments do not have the force of law until Rahmanov is in power. And he has to step down only after a new president swears into office. Inevitably a new president has to be chosen first, before Rahmanov leaves. He’s served two presidential terms already and has no right to run for president again.

Today Rahmatollah Zaerov stipulated his allegations for me again. Before him Shakerjan Hakimov was telling me the same. However, OSCE’s first interim report on Tajik presidential election (12 October 2006) tells us something else:

“As a result of this referendum (2003), the current president – first elected president in 1994 and re-elected in 1999 – is allowed to run for another two terms in 2006 and 2013.”

I gave a call to Urdur Gunnarsdottir, OSCE/ODIHR’s spokesperson in Warsaw and shared with her Tajik opposition’s concern over the legitimacy of Rahmanov’s candidacy. She had to look for some appropriate words to answer and finally she said: “OSCE is not a court and will not be issuing legal verdicts; if there is a legal problem in different interpretations of the law, the question must be considered by a court.”

While Zaerov and Hakimov say, there is no independent court in Tajikistan and the issue could be put on UN’s desk only. Zaerov intends to do it after the election, if his shaky health condition would allow him.

Now I need an international lawyer who could give me an unbiased expert view to scrutinize this ostensibly appalling breach of law on higher levels.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such a lawless country that we have. If you dig deeper you could find out that Mr. Rahmonov have been none-legitimate head of Tajikistan since the very beginning - 1992. He intimidated President Nabiev to resign. Nabiev's resignation under the military pressure is against the law. The Khujand session was gathered to condemn such a resignatin that took place in Dushanbe airport. Rahmonov was "elected" on the very same day when the Constitution was approved in referendum. How one could be elected before knowing the results of referendum? He was clearly defeated by Abdullajanov later, but seized the power changing the election results. Now what you and others are saying. The question is that is there any one single day that Rahmonov ruled the country as a lawfull governor? The answer - NO!

Darius said...

I do agree with you, Anonymous, but we have to talk about it as much as it takes, until all the ears and eyes will be turned towards us and him. Ozodi.org has published an analytic piece about the issue:

http://www.ozodi.org/reportsarticle/2006/10/BE53D52D-46B5-41F6-8DAF-F6A33DECE375.html

Anonymous said...

Durud Doriush arjmand,
umedvoram, ki tandurust va komron boshed. Chandin ruz pesh, berun az darshoi sangin dar justor dunboli khabarhoi toza megashtam va az tariqi somonai Shahzoda (samarqand.malakut.org) bo sahifai internetii Shumo (Thoughtland) oshno shudam. Rosti, diqqati maro onjo beshtar navishtai “I need an International Lawer” jalb namud, ki dar on az “Incumbent President's Legitimacy Under Question” andesha va mushohidahoyatonro navishta buded. In mas’alaro sari fursat bo yake az ustodoni huquqdoni donishgoham (Bremen) barrasi namudam. Chun eshon aslan ba man hall namudani mas’alahoi huquqii hamai pahluhoyash mushaxxasro meomuzonad, maslihat dod, ki pesh az hama diqqatamro ba halli muammohoe, ki u suporish dodaast, jam’ kunam (yak bahsi huquqi az Qonuni Asosii kishvari Russia, ki 3 hafta meshavad, sari on hamrohi digar donishjuyoni baynalkhalqi meandeshem ve hej ne rohi durusti halli onro yobem). :o
Vale hamin ustod ba man izhori nazarashro daregh nadosht va man aknun kushish mekunam andeshahoyashro bo zaboni modariamon durust bayon namoyam, charo ki mo asosan bo hamdigar bo zaboni olmoni suhbat mekunem:
1. Vaqte yake az mukholifon nisbati in guna qoidae (Clause), ki dar Qonuni Asosi ovarda shudaast, bovar kunad, ehtimol az jonibi dodgohhoi (Courts) mustaqili Olmon haq nabaroyad. Injo mahaki aslii barovardani qarori dodgoh shoyad in boshad, ki az kadom lahza davomnokii davrai hukmronie, ki dar moddai 65, bandi 4-i Sarqonun ovarda shudaast amal mekunad. Hamin tavr, in savol boyad bandi 3-i “Transitional regulations”- ro posukh dihad va onro az rui qoidai “bo ba okhir rasidani davrai hukmronii prezidenti kununi” ijro kunad.
2. Gap sari in ast, ki dar in jo yak mas’alai norushan ham hast va onro dusti Shumo shoyad durust pay burda boshad: Ba joi navishtajoti (Formulation) “lahzai humkronii…” vojahoi “intikhoboti prezident baroi du davrai pay dar pay” istifoda burda meshavad. In navishtajot ba tanhoi baroi on nofahmo ast, ki “intikhoboti prezident baroi du davrai pay dar pay” vujud nadorad, balki tanho yak intikhob baroi yak davra. Ghayr az in: “intikhoboti prezidenti” na az davrai ba okhir rasidani shakhsi peshtar az in (Predecessor), umuman nachust oghoz meshavad – in harfi qonun ham ba mo hej khulosabarorii duruste namedihad.
3. Az in guna harfi qonun pahluhoi mas’ala durust rushan nest, pas boyad az maqomoti qonunguzor pursid, ki u chi mekhost, na in ki khud az barrasii in mas’ala chi mebardorem.
Davomash blah… blah… blah…
Khub, Doriush giromi, in bud andeshahoi ustodi huquqdoni olmoniam. In ki maro nasihat namuda diqqatatro ba suporishhoyam jam’ namo, guftaand. In sukhanho joy dorad, lekin hissi kunjkobiam maro orom nameguzorad va man holo sari paydo kardani dalelhoi khudi R. Zoirov hastam, to beshtar bidonam va az on jumla pechidagii mas’alaro sarfahm ravam… Boz ham az internet ogoh shudam, ki boyad in mas’ala ba zudi dar Dodgohi Oli barrasi shavad. Az peshi khud mepursam, ki agar hamin mas’ala boz ham dar Olmon surat girad, onro aslan kadom Dodgoh barrasi menamoyad? Ehtimoli ziyod, Dodgohi Qonuni Asosii Olmon, ammo dar mo Dodgohi Oli. Hmm, dar davomi in 5 sole, ki man dar donishgohi Dushanbe huquqshinosi (aslan International Law) dars khondam, bore ham nashunidam, ki dar davomi 15 soli istiqloliyat Dodgohi Sarqonuni Tojikiston qarore barovarda boshad va yo mas’alai huquqii muhimero barrasi namuda boshad.
Shodu piruz boshed va agar guzoraton ba Olmon aftad, maro bekhabar naguzored, to hatman joe bitavonem hamidigarro “live” bubinem.
Bedrud!
--
Dilschod Asimov