Elections in Tajikistan: 2016 Constitutional Referendum

Publication Date: 
17 May 2016

On May 22, 2016, Tajikistan will hold a nationwide referendum on changing its constitution to remove term limits for the current President, lower the minimum age a candidate can be elected President, abolish the Court of Justice, and prohibit the establishment of religious-based or atheistic political parties. These are part of 41 proposed amendments that citizens will be voting on in a simple “yes” or “no” ballot measure.

The upcoming referendum will be the fourth constitutional referendum held in the country’s history since independence in 1991. At stake in this referendum is the ability of voters to affect changes in leadership through the ballot box, as the elimination of term limits for the current President, Emomali Rahmon, evokes a “President for life” scenario that further damages Tajikistan’s democratic credentials internationally.

To help you understand this important electoral process, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provides Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Elections in Tajikistan: 2016 Constitutional Referendum. IFES FAQs include:

  • What will Tajik citizens be voting on in the May 22 referendum?
  • Why is the referendum important? What is at stake?
  • What is the election management body? What are its powers?
  • What is the media environment like?