Social-Democrats don’t rule out that they may boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for March 1, 2020. 

The leader of the Social-Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT), Rahmatillo Zoyirov, has called on President Emomali Rahmon to abolish an election deposit for candidates.

A statement released by SDPT leader, in particular, notes that the financial deposit set by the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER) for candidates amounts to 5,800 somoni (equivalent to some 600.00 U.S. dollars).  

“A total sum of the election deposit for 10 candidates will be 58,000 somoni and for 22 candidates it will be more than 127,000 somoni.  That is highway robbery,” the statement says.  

In an electoral system, a deposit is the sum of money that a candidate for an elected office, such as a seat in a legislature, is required to pay to an electoral authority before he or she is permitted to stand for election.

In the typical case, the deposit collected is repaid to the candidate after the poll if the candidate obtains a specified proportion of the votes cast.  The purpose of the deposit is to reduce the prevalence of 'fringe' candidates or parties with no realistic chance of winning a seat.  If the candidate does not achieve the refund threshold, the deposit is forfeited.

Recall, SDPT leader told Asia-Plus on December 4 that they decided to change their pre-election policy.  “Our party will change its tactics at the forthcoming parliamentary elections,” said Zoyirov.  “If at the previous parliamentary elections that were held in 2015 we put twenty-two candidates on our party list, this time we may reduce the number of candidates on the party list.”  

According to him, a part of the presumed nominees are currently in Russia working as labor migrants and they will return home in the near future. 

The Majlisi Namoyandagon is the lower house of Tajikistan’s parliament.  It has 63 members, elected for a five-year term in, 22 by proportional representation (party list) and 41 in single-seat constituencies. 

Founded in 2002, the Social-Democratic Party was registered on December 20, 2002.  It was originally registered as the Party of Justice and Development on February 5, 1999.  Tajikistan’s Ministry of Justice requested the same year that the Supreme Court ban the party’s activities and its registration was canceled.  The party re-emerged and was registered under the name of the Social-Democratic Party in late 2002.  Chairman of the Social-Democratic Party is Rahmatillo Zoyirov and the party reportedly has about 8,000 members.