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Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 3:02:12 PM
Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 3:03:00 PM
(Reuters) - Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmon is expected to win a new seven-year term in an election on November 6, extending his rule in the former Soviet republic in Central Asia to nearly three decades.
The only opposition nominee, Oynihol Bobonazarova, will not be on the ballot because she was unable to gather the 210,000 signatures required to run in the presidential election.
The five other candidates who qualified are little-known and loyal to Rakhmon.
Here is some information about the candidates and the election rules.
IMOMALI RAKHMON, 61, is backed by his ruling People's Democratic Party.
The West has criticised his record on democracy, saying past elections have failed to meet democratic standards.
Rakhmon, a former state farm director and a father of nine, headed parliament and became de facto head of state after the forced resignation of the first elected Tajik president, Rakhmon Nabiyev, in November 1992. Imomali Rakhmon was elected president in 1994 and won a second term in 1999.
In 2003, he oversaw a constitutional referendum which enabled him to run for another two consecutive seven-year terms. He won an election in 2006 with 79.3 percent of the vote. If he wins a new term on November 6, it has be his last.
OLIMJON BOBOYEV, 61, backed by the Party of Economic Reforms of Tajikistan, was runner-up in the 2006 election, trailing far behind Rakhmon with 6.2 percent of the vote.
TOLIBEK BUKHORIYEV, 59, an academic and the candidate of the Agrarian Party. The party chairman, Amir Karakulov, was a distant third in the last election with 5.2 percent.
ISMOIL TALBAKOV, 58, is a Communist Party deputy. He received 5.2 percent of the vote in 2006.
ABDUHALIM GHAFFOROV, 61, is the candidate of the Socialist Party which he chairs. He finished last in the field of five candidates in the previous election with 2.8 percent.
SAIDJAFAR ISMONOV, 53, is a university professor turned businessman. He is backed by the Democratic Party.
ELECTORATE: The Central Election Commission says there are 4 million eligible voters in the nation of 8 million.
VOTING HOURS: Polls open at 6 a.m. (0100 GMT) and close at 8 p.m. (1500 GMT). First official preliminary results are expected early on November 7.
RULES: Presidential elections are held every seven years - the term was extended from five years by a constitutional referendum overseen by Rakhmon. Under the constitution, the presidency is limited to a maximum of two terms.
Turnout of at least 50 percent is required to make the election legitimate.
If no candidate wins at least 50 percent of votes cast, a run-off between the top two candidates is held within a month.
(Reporting by Roman Kozhevnikov; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov)
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