03/21/2015, 00.00
TAJIKISTAN
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President Rakhmon appoints his son to head state anti-corruption agency

The 27 year-old Rustam Emomali is the new director of the official body that punishes crimes of corruption. The son of the incumbent president had a fast-tracked political career. The International community has accused the agency of pursuing the president’s opponents. The current appointment lays the foundation for the succession to the presidency of the country.

Dushanbe (AsiaNews) - On 16 March, the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon appointed his eldest son to head the state anti-corruption agency. Rustam Emomali, 27, is the new director of one of the most important and criticized government institutions, the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption. Rustam succeeds Abdufattokh Goib, appointed head of Tajikistan's customs office.

Despite his young age, the president's son is not new to high profile government positions. At 20 he won a seat in the capital's municipal council. Since 2013 he has directed the customs offices. He is also one of the founders of the Tajikistan Football Federation and has his own football team.

President Rakhmon has assigned one of the most delicate tasks in the country to his son. In the past, the anti-corruption agency has been accused of having favored the rise of some political groups and criminals as a political instrument through which the government has eliminated its opponents. Chief among them,the opposition movement "Group 24", whose leader was killed in early March in Istanbul.

Tajikistan is placed 152nd (out of 175 countries) in the Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by the NGO Transparency International.

According to Deputy Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies (organ reporting to the President), Rustam's appointment will concretely contribute to the fight against rampant corruption in the country. The analyst reports that he highlighted the flaws in the customs offices when he was head there and eliminated them.

However, according to an independent analyst, the appointment of "the head of state's son, would earn the image of a fighter against corruption and thus raise his rating in the eyes of the public, gaining new points in his political career for further growth".

The first act of the new agency headed by Rustam Emomali was to arrest Izatullo Azizov, director of the Committee on Religious Affairs and the regulation of national rituals of Tajikistan. The senior government official was caught while pocketing a bribe of 2 thousand dollars to allow the departure of a citizen on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

 

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