Emomali Rahmon (Tajik: Эмомалӣ Раҳмон,
translit. Emomalî Rahmon/Emomalī Rahmon); (born 5 October
1952) is a Tajikistani politician who has served as President of
Tajikistan (or its equivalent post) since 1992.
During the early years of his presidency, Rahmon faced a civil war in
which up to 100,000 people died. In 2013, he was elected to a fourth
term in office.
1 Early life
3 Name changes
4 Religion and convictions
6 Honors and awards
8 External links
Rahmon was born as Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov (Russian:
Эмомали́ Шари́пович Рахмо́нов,
translit. Emomali Šaripovič Rahmonov) to Sharif Rahmonov and
Mayram Sharifova, a peasant family in Danghara,
(present-day Khatlon province). From 1971 to 1974 he served in the
Soviet Union's Pacific Fleet. After completing the military service,
Rahmon returned to his native village where he worked for some time as
As an apparatchik rising through the nomenklatura, his original power
base was as chairman of the collective state farm of his native
Danghara. According to his official biography, Rahmon graduated from
Tajik State National University
Tajik State National University with a specialist's degree in
Economics in 1982. After working for several years in the trade union
of the Lenin
Sovkhoz in Danghara, Rahmon was appointed chairman of the
sovkhoz in 1987.
Further information: Human rights in Tajikistan
Rahmon during his 2013 inauguration.
In 1990, Rahmon was elected a people's deputy to the
Supreme Soviet of
the Tajik SSR. President
Rahmon Nabiyev was forced to resign in the
first months of the Civil War in
Tajikistan in August 1992. Akbarsho
Iskandarov, Speaker of the Supreme Soviet, became acting president.
Iskandarov resigned in November 1992 in an attempt to end the civil
unrest. That same month, the
Supreme Soviet met in
Khujand for its
16th session and declared
Tajikistan a parliamentary republic. Rahmon
was then elected by the members of the
Supreme Soviet as its
chairman—a post equivalent to that of president—and the head of
During the civil war that lasted from 1992–97, Rahmon's rule was
opposed by the United Tajik Opposition. As many as 100,000 people died
during the war. He survived an assassination attempt on 30 April 1997
in Khujand, as well as two attempted coups in August 1997 and in
In 1994, a new constitution reestablished the presidency. Rahmon was
elected to the post on 6 November 1994 and sworn in ten days later.
Following constitutional changes, he was re-elected on 6 November 1999
to a seven-year term, officially taking 97% of the vote. On 22 June
2003, he won a referendum that would allow him to run for two more
consecutive seven-year terms after his term expired in 2006. The
opposition alleges that this amendment was hidden in a way that verged
upon electoral fraud. Rahmon was re-elected for a seven-year term in a
controversial election on 6 November 2006, with about 79% of the vote,
according to the official results. On 6 November 2013, he was
re-elected for the second seven-year term in office, with about 84% of
the vote, in an election that the Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe said had lacked a "genuine choice and
In December 2015, a law passed by Tajikistan's parliament gave Emomali
Rahmon the title "Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the
Nation" (Tajik: Асосгузори сулҳу ваҳдати
миллӣ – Пешвои миллат, Asosguzori sulhu vahdati
millî – Peşvo‘i millat; Russian: Основатель мира
и национального единства – Лидер
нации, Osnovatelj mira i nacionaljnogo jedinstva – Lider
necí). A shorter version of the title, "Leader of the Nation," is
used frequently. In addition to granting Rahmon a lifelong immunity
from prosecution, the law also gave him a number of other lifelong
privileges including veto powers over all major state decisions, the
freedom to address the nation and parliament on all matters he deems
important, and the privilege of attending all government meetings and
On 22 May 2016, a nationwide referendum approved a number of changes
to the country's constitution. One of the main changes lifted the
limit on presidential terms, effectively allowing Rahmon to stay in
power for as many terms as he wishes. Other key changes outlawed
faith-based political parties, thus finalizing the removal of the
outlawed Islamic Revival Party from Tajikistan's politics, and reduced
the minimum eligibility age for presidential candidates from 35 to 30,
effectively enabling Rahmon's older son, Rustam Emomali, to run for
president any time after 2017. In January 2017,
Rustam Emomali was
appointed Mayor of Dushanbe, a key position, which is seen by some
analysts as the next step to the top of the government.
In March 2007, Rahmonov changed his surname to Rahmon, getting rid of
the Russian-style "-ov" ending. He also removed the patronymic,
Sharipovich, from his name altogether. Rahmon explained that he had
done so out of respect for his cultural heritage. Following
the move, scores of governments officials, members of parliament, and
civil servants around the country removed Russian-style patronymics
and "-ov" endings from their surnames. In April 2016, Tajikistan
officially banned the giving of Russian-style patronymics and surnames
to newborn children, but de facto it is still widespread.
Religion and convictions
Rahmon is a
Sunni Muslim and he has frequently stressed his Muslim
background even though his administration is engaged in a relentless
campaign against public displays of Islamic devotion. His
suppression of Islamic expression includes banning beards, attendance
at the mosque for women and children under eighteen, hajj for people
under 40, studying in Islamic schools outside Tajikistan, the
production, import or export of Islamic books without permission
(implemented in 2017), using loudspeakers to broadcast the adhan,
veils, madrassas, Islamist political parties and Arabic-sounding names
(implemented in 2016). Furthermore, mosques are heavily regulated,
providing unofficial Islamic teaching can lead to up to twelve years
of imprisonment and an arduous process is required in order to obtain
a permit to establish an Islamic organisation, publish an Islamic book
or go on pilgrimage to Mecca. In January 2016, Rahmon performed an
Umrah with a number of his children and senior members of his
government. That was Rahmon's fourth pilgrimage to Mecca.
His reply to critics of the election standards of the 2006 Tajikistani
presidential elections was:
In Tajikistan, more than 99 percent of those residing here are Muslim.
We have a completely different culture. You have to take that into
During a 2010 Organisation of the Islamic Conference session hosted in
Dushanbe, Rahmon spoke against what he deemed was the misuse of Islam
toward political ends, claiming that "Terrorism, terrorists, have no
nation, no country, no religion ... [U]sing the name 'Islamic
terrorism' only discredits Islam and dishonors the pure and harmless
religion of Islam."
Membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a militant Islamic party which today
aims for an overthrow of secular governments and the unification of
Tajiks under one Islamic state, is illegal and members are subject to
arrest and imprisonment.
The Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP), is a banned Islamist political
party and designated as a terrorist organization since 2015.
In 2017 the government of
Tajikistan passed a law requiring people to
"stick to traditional national clothes and culture", which has been
widely seen as an attempt to prevent women from wearing Islamic
clothing, in particular the style of headscarf wrapped under the chin,
in contrast to the traditional Tajik headscarf tied behind the
He is married to Azizmo Asadullayeva and has nine children: seven
daughters and two sons. Two of his children,
Rustam Emomali and
Ozoda Rahmon, are senior officials in his administration.
Honors and awards
Vladimir Putin awarding Rahmon the Order of
Honorary Doctorate of Leadership by the Limkokwing University of
Creative Technology (LUCT)
Hero of Tajikistan
Order of Mubarak the Great
Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise
Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (2008)
Order of the Three Stars
Order of the Three Stars (2009)
World Peace Prize Harvester’s Prize (2000) 
Order of Merit of Ukriane (2011)
Heydar Aliyev Order
Heydar Aliyev Order (2012)
Order of the President of
Order of the Republic of Serbia (2013)
Order of Alexander Nevsky
Order of Alexander Nevsky (2017)
Order of Parasat
Order of Parasat (2018)
^ Birthname appears variously as Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov,
Imamali Sharipovich Rakhmanov or Imomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov; all
transliteration into English of the Russian forms (Эмомали
Шарипович Рахмонов and Имамали
Шарипович Рахманов) of his Tajik name.
^ a b "ЭМОМАЛӢ РАҲМОН [Official Biography]". Official
Website of the President of Tajikistan. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Эмомали Рахмон: вехи политической
биографии". Asia-Plus. Asia-Plus News Agency. 5 October 2016.
Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Тарҷумаи Ҳоли Эмомалии Раҳмон".
Government of Tajikistan. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
^ "Эмомали Рахмон". Сайт Президента
Республики Таджикистан. Retrieved 20 May
^ a b "Emomali Rahmon". Official Website of the President of the
Republic of Tajikistan. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
Tajikistan - Leninabad: Crackdown In The North". Hrw.org. April
1998. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
^ "Republic of Tajikistan, Presidential Election 6 November 2013:
OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report". OSCE/ODIHR. 5
February 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Қонуни Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон дар
бораи Асосгузори сулҳу ваҳдати миллӣ
– Пешвои миллат". Official Website of the President of
Tajikistan. 25 December 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Tajikistan: Leader of the Nation Law Cements Autocratic Path".
EurasiaNet.org. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Teflon Rahmon: Tajik President Getting 'Leader' Title, Lifelong
Immunity". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL's Tajik Service. 10
December 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
Tajikistan Approves Constitutional Changes Tightening Rahmon's Grip
On Power". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL. 23 May 2016.
Retrieved 26 May 2016.
^ "Why Does
Tajikistan Need A Referendum?". Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty. RFE/RL. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Tajiks to vote in 'president-for-life' referendum". Reuters. 10
February 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Tajikistan: regime eternalization completed?". The Politicon. The
Politicon. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
^ "Рахмонов стал Рахмон, Каримов
остался Каримовым [Rahmonov Became Rahmon, Karimov
Remained Karimoiv]". Avesta.Tj. Avesta News Agency. 13 April 2007.
Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Президент Таджикистана сменил
фамилию и подкорректировал имя".
Сегодня. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Президент Таджикистана отрезал от
своей фамилий Русское окончание (in
Russian)". Lenta.ru. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
Tajikistan Bans Giving Babies Russian-Style Last Names". Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 20 May
^ Putz, Catherine (17 April 2015). "Tajikistan: No Hajj, No Hijab, and
Shave Your Beard". The Diplomat. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Tajikistan's crackdown on observant Muslims intensifies". The
Economist. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
^ "Tajikistan's Islam-Averse Leader Goes to Mecca". EurasiaNet.org. 5
January 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
^ "Tajik President Wins Re-Election". The Washington Post. 7 November
2006. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
^ "Top Islamic Body Holds Foreign Minister Meeting In Dushanbe".
Rferl.org. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
^ "Hizb ut Tahrir". BBC News. BBC. 27 August 2003. Retrieved 12
^ Michel, Casey (5 November 2015). "Trouble in Tajikistan: Analysts
say the banning of a moderate Islamist party could unravel the
country's post-civil war order". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 23 February
Tajikistan human rights fears as banned party's ex-leaders jailed
for life". The Guardian. Reuters. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 23 February
^ Harriet Agerholm (1 September 2017). "Tajikstan passes law 'to stop
Muslim women wearing hijabs'". The Independent.
^ "Qəhrəman ana - Tacikistanın birinci ledisi - FOTOLAR".
Modern.az. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
^ "Rahmon Receives Honorary Doctorate Of Leadership From LimKokWing
University". Bernama. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
World Peace Prize Top Honer Prize－Kuniwo Nakamura WPPAC.
^ "President Rahmon awarded the Order of the Republic of Serbia".
Asia-Plus. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
^ "Tajik President awarded
Order of Alexander Nevsky
Order of Alexander Nevsky Vestnik
Kavkaza". vestnikkavkaza.net. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
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