DUSHANBE, December 29, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Professor Ibrohim Usmonov expects the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDPT) to win more than 70 percent of votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections set for February 28, 2010.

“If it wants, it may win 90 percent of all votes both in a singe, countrywide constituency (election through a proportional, party list system) and single-mandate constituencies, however, I think they will limit themselves to 70-75 percent,” said the expert, “The spirit of eastern peoples is so that we hold leaders in too high respect and consider our leaders’ opinion.  This also concerns both Kazakhstan, which we get used to consider the most democratic country in the region, and Uzbekistan, in which, in our opinion, there is less democracy and transparency in the region.”

According to him, such a spirit prevents us from making correct choice.

The remaining 25-30 percent of votes will be shared by other political parties, first of all, the Islamic Revival Party (IRPT) and the Communist (CPT) Party.  He further added that it could not be ruled out that other political parties, expect the Social-Democratic Party (SDPT), would win one seat in the parliament each.

“Although the SDPT is now one of the strongest political parties in the country in terms of potential, it will scarcely win any seat in the parliament because under the current conditions of Tajikistan, it is not yet in demand in the country,” said Professor Usmonov, “Tajik Social-Democrats, like Social-Democrats in the other countries of the world, focus on interests of the middle class, which is considered to be the most independent and progressive class in the world.  Meanwhile, the middle class has not yet properly formed in Tajikistan.  The SDPT is considered to be the main opposition party.  In 2005, it failed to win any seat in the parliament, and after that, the SDPT leader said that the government has persecuted the party.”

We will recall that the ruling party controls more than 80 percent of seats in the current parliament and the PDPT officials have pledged to maintain control of the parliament and even try to take more seats.

The Communist Party and the Islamic Revival Party have just five seats total in the lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of the parliament.