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    Incumbent president re-elected in Tajikistan with 79% of votes

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    Incumbent Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov won a landslide victory in Monday's election, the country's Central Election Committee said Tuesday.

    DUSHANBE, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - Incumbent Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov won a landslide victory in Monday's election, the country's Central Election Committee said Tuesday.

    With a 91% voter turnout, Rakhmonov, who was nominated by the ruling People's Democratic Party, received 79.3% of the votes, and has been re-elected to a third consecutive seven-year term.

    Rakhmonov was first elected to the newly created post of president of Tajikistan on November 6, 1994. Following the introduction of several amendments to the Constitution, he was re-elected in 1999 to a second seven-year term, taking 97% of the vote. On June 22, 2003, he won a referendum allowing him to run for two more consecutive seven-year terms.

    Monday's election in the former Soviet Central Asian republic was closely monitored by more than 700 foreign election observers and 18,000 observers representing various local political parties and civic movements.

    With a total population of nearly 7 million, Tajikistan has 3.2 million eligible voters, 91% of whom cast ballots at about 3,200 polling stations across the country and abroad.

    Five of the eight political parties in Tajikistan put forward presidential candidates. Apart from Rakhmonov, Ismoil Talbakov of the Communist Party received 5.1% of the votes, Olimdzhon Boboyev, of the Economic Reform Party 6.2%, Abdukhalim Gaffarov of the Socialist Party 2.8%, and Amirkul Karakulov of the Agrarian Party 5.3%.

    The opposition parties, which include the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party, refused to nominate candidates, claiming that the outcome was predetermined, with the long-standing incumbent president most likely to emerge the winner.

    Following the announcement of the official results of the election in 10 days, Tajikistan will hold a presidential inauguration ceremony on November 18, the election committee said.

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