Autocratic Tajikistan President Faces No Real Challenge in Re-Election Bid

Even his "opponents" have praised him


It's an election in name only: even the challengers to Tajikistan's autocratic president have praised him and the only real opposition candidate has been barred from the race in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation.

Emomali Rakhmon, 61, who has led the mountainous, Sunni Muslim nation neighboring Afghanistan and China for more than two decades, is all but certain to win a fourth presidential term in Wednesday's vote. He polled 79 percent in the previous election seven years ago. Western monitors criticized it as lacking any genuine competition.