The change of power and the development of the situation in Kyrgyzstan is still actively discussed by the public in neighboring Tajikistan. Of course, these events are perceived ambiguously: some of them are alerted, others cheered and reassured. The first category includes the ruling elites of Central Asian states, which the epidemic of “revolutions” spread to the region could not but be disturbed. A certain nervousness that arose in the power structures in Tajikistan after March 24 is evidenced by the appeal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of April 14, in which the Foreign Ministry asks foreign NGOs and diplomatic missions to inform it in advance about the date and subject of public meetings with representatives of parties, public associations and the media . According to the deputy chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), MP Muhiddin Kabiri, in this way the authorities are trying to limit the influence of international organizations that are often reproached for supporting opposition movements in the post-Soviet space. “I think that the Kyrgyz events pushed the authorities of Tajikistan, including the Foreign Ministry, to take such measures in order to take control of the activities of international organizations in the country,” said Kabiri.
The president of Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmonov, did not hide his “disapproval” of the events in Kyrgyzstan. In the annual message to the parliament, the head of state noted that the Kyrgyz events "had a negative impact on the image of the region" and "are capable of disrupting stability throughout Central Asia." According to him, "Central Asia should be the geopolitical center of world interests, not the scene of unrest." The president also added that from international NGOs “the state requires compliance with the law, transparency and openness”. Such “preventive” statements by the Tajik authorities are quite understandable: the presidential election is not far off in the republic (November 2006).
Opposition representatives reacted differently to the change of power in the neighboring country. Thus, the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT), through the mouth of its leader, Rakhmatillo Zoyirov, expressed support for the democratic opposition movement in Kyrgyzstan “in its desire to ensure democracy, justice and transparency in elections.” And the leadership of the IRPT expressed the hope that the new authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic will ensure respect for human rights, "by proving that the people of Central Asia can also live in a free and democratic society." Let me remind you that both opposition parties consider the results of the parliamentary elections in Tajikistan on February 27 to be rigged (the elections were held in Kyrgyzstan on the same day).
As in Kyrgyzstan, the opposition in Tajikistan remained dissatisfied with the election results. However, behind the loud statements no decisive action followed. Why? Are there any chances that the Kyrgyz scenario could be repeated in Tajikistan? Is an unconstitutional variant of the change of power possible in our republic?
Most observers today are inclined to believe that in the foreseeable future, the revolutionary situation in Tajikistan is not threatened, at least among the first “candidates” for a revolution, the republic is not. Experts call the post-war syndrome the main factor restraining the activity of the masses. Rallies of protest, dissatisfaction with the elections, demands for the resignation of the president and calls for the overthrow of the current regime — all of this was in Tajikistan in 1992.
In the early 90s. For the first time in the past 20 years, in the political arena of the republic, forces such as the Rastokhez Popular Movement (Revival), La'li Badakhshon, the IRPT, and the Democratic Party openly manifested themselves to opposition to the communist regime. Later they formed the backbone of the United Tajik Opposition, led by Said Abdullo Nuri. The slogans of the first opposition-organized rallies in Dushanbe in 1991-92 were demands for the resignation of Communist President Rakhmon Nabiyev. The opposition, for the most part, consisted of people from the northeastern Karategin Valley and Gorno-Badakhshan, for whom the communist regime was identified with the ruling Leninabad elite (now Sughd region, in the north of the country). It should be noted that in the social and political life of Tajikistan, regional clan interests have always been of decisive importance. Almost 70 Soviet years at the helm of power in the republic were immigrants from Leninabad (now Khujand - the regional center of northern Tajikistan). This irritated representatives of political elites from other regions. The confrontation between the two squares of the capital, Shahidon, where representatives of the Islamic-democratic opposition rallied, and Ozodi, where supporters of the current government gathered, turned into armed provocations and, ultimately, a bloody six-year civil war. Apparently, the authorities were not ready for such a turn of events - the Nabiyev government demonstrated complete helplessness and inaction. In September 1992, Nabiyev was overthrown. In opposition to the opposition that seized power, representatives of the southern (Kulyab) and central (Gissar) regions in support of the government created the so-called Popular Front. In November 1992, Emomali Rakhmonov was elected chairman of the Supreme Council (in 1992, Rakhmonov was 40 years old), director of the Dangara district of the Kulyab region (south of the country), inexperienced in politics. Since then, Rakhmonov has managed not only to gain experience and strengthen his power, but also to gradually isolate both opponents and many former comrades-in-arms. And local-regional interests to this day remain one of the main factors in Tajik politics. Today, people are increasingly saying that representatives of the Kulyab region have access to basic resources and many key posts in the republic.
Nevertheless, according to experts, Tajikistan already has experience of popular unrest, the repetition of which nobody wants. “No one then expected that these popular protests would end in a fratricidal war. All political forces wanted to create a new society in Tajikistan and live on the basis of their own statehood. But now it is obvious that the country had serious internal and external enemies, who, taking advantage of the unrest, imposed a war. The civil war in Tajikistan was imposed from the outside, but on the basis of internal unrest - no external forces can prepare a revolution outside the country if the country itself does not have a social basis for it. Therefore, I believe that any of the Central Asian countries can stand in the queue for a revolution, but only not Tajikistan. Here, any person who calls to go to the square, to the demonstration, will be perceived both by the authorities and the people as the instigator of the war, ”says the head of the IRPT staff Hikmatullo Saifullozoda.
A similar opinion is shared by independent political analyst Nurali Davlatov, who believes that the strengthening of opposition sentiment after the Kyrgyz events is possible in other Central Asian republics, with the exception of Tajikistan. “Our people have become to some extent apolitical - the limit of confidence in all politicians has been exhausted. In addition, the instinct of self-preservation works, since the civil war in Tajikistan was very fierce, ”says Davlatov.
At the same time, according to the deputy director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Saifullo Safarov, today no one can say with certainty that events like Georgian, Ukrainian or Kyrgyz cannot be repeated: “There are states that can bring themselves to certain repetition of these events. I don’t want to name specific states-claimants to repeat revolutions, but I think that if everyone speaks only his own truth and does not hear the other, unless all the nuances of the previous elections are taken into account, the flaws that the ruling party and government have in such a situation the repetition of Kyrgyzstan is possible in almost all states of Central Asia. Of course, what we have experienced, other countries are only experiencing. But to say that “once we had a disease and never get sick again” is a very dangerous and wrong position. ” At the same time, Safarov noted that in the event of a popular protest of a “velvet” change of power in the Central Asian states, most likely, it will not happen: “Our peoples have not gone through such a school of democracy, which was held in the West. Every word that someone will say is sometimes perceived as a personal, clan, regional or national insult. Therefore, in our countries, most likely, a more “non-velvety” version of revolutions is possible. ”
SDPT leader Zoyirov believes that the Kyrgyz events were a reflection of domestic political trends in all Central Asian republics, where there is an increase in authoritarian tendencies and pressure on the opposition. In his opinion, the crisis in Kyrgyzstan was the result of an ineffective socio-economic policy of the government, corruption of the government, unfair personnel policy, violations of the electoral law and disregard for the will of the people. All this can be attributed to Tajikistan, that is, the objective situation for a qualitative change of political power is already overdue, but subjective factors are not yet ready for it. As Zoyirov notes, the Tajik opposition’s weakness lies in the fact that it is represented exclusively by political parties, other subjects of society practically do not participate in political processes. Therefore, according to the leader of the SDPT, there is no opposition movement as such in Tajikistan: “The opposition in Kyrgyzstan has a large number of former officials who worked in the most senior positions, deputies. In addition, a large number of NGOs joined the opposition. That is, the main backbone of the opposition movement was not political parties. Unfortunately, in today's Tajikistan, other structures of society, in particular, business structures, the media and NGOs are not included in the system of the opposition movement. ”
Safarov, in turn, notes that in Tajikistan now there is no opposition capable of opposing the authorities, because "the prestige of the president prevails over all, including political parties."