/ tɑːdʒiːkəstæn /
Prevedi Tajikistan na: nemački
Formerly (to 1991) Tadzhikistan
Country in central Asia, bounded N by Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, E by China, and S by Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There is a 230-member legislature, the Supreme Soviet (parliament), to which deputies are elected by a majority system, and a second ballot “run-off” race in contests in which there is no clear first-round majority. From the majority grouping within the supreme soviet, a prime minister (chairman of the cabinet of ministers) is drawn. The state president is chairman of the supreme soviet.
The Tajiks are descended from the Mongol invaders who swept across Asia from the 13th century. Conquered by Tsarist Russia 1877–1900, and formed 1924 from the Tajik areas of Bokhara and Turkestan, it became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union 1929. Its people speak an Indo-Iranian language.
growth of nationalism
From the late 1980s there was a resurgence in Tajik consciousness. In 1989 a Rastakhiz (“Revival”) Popular Front was established and during 1990 there were serious interethnic clashes in Dushanbe.
The Communist Party of Tajikstan (CPT), led by the conservative Kakhar Makhkamov, initially supported the Aug 1991 attempted anti-Gorbachev coup in Moscow. However, after prodemocracy demonstrations in Dushanbe and a vote of no confidence, Makhkamov was forced to resign 31 Aug 1991. Under acting president Kadreddin Aslonov, a declaration of independence was made 9 Sept 1991, and the activities of the CPT, now renamed the Socialist Party of Tajikstan (SPT), were banned 22 Sept. A day later, at a special session of the supreme soviet, this ban was overturned. Aslonov was replaced as president by Rakhman Nabiyev, the former Brezhnev-appointed CPT leader who had been removed by Mikhail Gorbachev 1985, and a three-month state of emergency was imposed. However, after more than a week of civil unrest, Nabiyev agreed to resuspend the SPT, lift the state of emergency, legalize opposition parties, and step down as president. In direct elections Nov 1991, Nabiyev comfortably secured election, capturing 58% of the vote.
However, the opposition, and outside observers, claimed that voting had been rigged.
Tajikstan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Dec 1991. In Feb 1992 it joined the Economic Cooperation Organization, founded by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey 1975, and in March 1992 became a member of the United Nations; US diplomatic recognition was also given at this time.
President Nabiyev enjoyed considerable support in rural areas, especially the Kuylab region, but his rule was opposed by Islamic and prodemocracy groups based in the east and south. From spring 1992 there were violent anti-Nabiyev demonstrations in the capital, Dushanbe, and in the south. In May Nabiyev was forced into a coalition with opposition leaders and in Sept, faced with increasing public unrest, he resigned. The Supreme Soviet chairman, Akbasho Iskandrov, who enjoyed the support of rebel groups, took over as interim head of state.
Fighting escalated, with the pro-Nabiyev Tajik People's Front (TPF), under Sangak Saparov, battling a Popular Democratic Army (PDA) coalition of Islamic and prodemocracy groups. Iskandrov resigned Nov 1992, the office of president was abolished, and Imamali Rakhmanov was appointed head of state (chairman of the Supreme Soviet). An authoritarian regime was established, with human rights routinely violated.
By Jan 1993 government forces, aided by the TPF, controlled most of the country. Russia, wanting to curb the spread of Islamic fundamentalism from neighboring Afghanistan, sent 20,000 troops to prop up the regime and provided half the state's budget. From March CIS peacekeeping forces were in place along the Tajik-Afghan border, and in Aug a government amnesty was offered to all rebels. In April 1994 the Moscow-based Coordinating Center for the Democratic Forces of Tajikistan began talks with the government, and in Sept a cease-fire was announced. In Nov 1994 acting head of state Imamali Rakhmanov was elected president, with 60% of the vote. Jamshed Karimov was appointed prime minister.