Presidential Elections in Tajikistan

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 7, 2013

The United States concurs with the preliminary assessment of the elections released in Dushanbe by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission. While the elections were peaceful, restrictive candidate-registration requirements resulted in a lack of pluralism and genuine choice. Family, proxy, and multiple voting were also prevalent. These are areas that have been identified for improvement in previous elections, and we call on the Tajik government to immediately address these serious shortcomings. The United States is pleased that international organizations were allowed to participate as observers throughout the country.

Moving forward, we also call on the Tajik government to reform its legal framework in accordance with OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, and open up greater access to media to allow for a free, fair, and competitive platform for candidates.

Tajikistan has come a long way since the end of a brutal civil war. We welcome the progress Tajikistan has made in improving its electoral process, but there is still a long way to go. True democracy is about more than an Election Day. We urge the Tajik government to begin working now to strengthen political pluralism, allow true opposition parties to operate, and expand operating space for independent media and civil society groups.

PRN: 2013/1360