Holiday honouring self in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE: Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon on Saturday signed a law to create a holiday honouring his autocratic rule in a move that fuels fears of a burgeoning personality cult in the Central Asian state.
Amendments to the Law on Holidays were passed without opposition last month in a parliament packed with Rakhmon loyalists who agreed that November 16 would be the date the ‘President’s Day’ holiday will be celebrated.
The law was accepted “taking into account the significant political experience and huge contribution” to peace and national unity in Tajikistan made by Rakhmon, according to a statement from the presidential press service.
The date was chosen because the former collective farm boss was elected head of parliament on November 16, 1992, as the ex-Soviet state reeled from the outbreak of a civil war won five years later by pro-government forces. Rakhmon was later elected president in 1994.