Tajikistan held a referendum Sunday on changing the Constitution to allow its authoritarian president to run for office indefinitely, effectively allowing him to rule for life. The 63-year-old Emomali Rakhmon has ruled the former Soviet republic in Central Asia since 1992. During those 24 years, he has crushed or cowed all opposition to his rule and the referendum is expected to pass easily. One of the constitutional changes considered in the vote would lower the minimum age for presidents from 35 to 30 years. This would allow Rakhmon’s son, now 29, to run in the next presidential election in 2020. Reported turnout was high. Election officials said that 88 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballots by 6 p.m. local time ( 1300 GMT ), two hours before polls closed. The referendum has been organized and held with only cursory international scrutiny. No election in Tajikistan has ever been deemed free and fair by the most thorough monitoring organization. In the months preceding the referendum, authorities in Tajikistan have systemically dismantled the few remaining remnants of dissent to Rakhmon’s rule.Full Article: Tajikistan vote on allowing president to rule for life - The Jakarta Post.
May 23 2016