Alwaght- Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan as the only legally registered Islamic party in Central Asia was established in 1991. The party won eight per cent of the votes in the previous parliamentary election in Tajikistan, two seats out of the country’s 63 parliamentary seats.
However, in the last parliamentary election held in March, 2015, the party failed to pass the five per cent election threshold, failing to gain any seat in the Tajik parliament. In these conditions, Muhiddin Kabiri, the head of the party traveled abroad and did not return to Tajikistan.
In fact, fear of being arrested for a court case against him, and the growing speculations over banning the activities of the Islamic Renaissance Party, and the criticism against the performance of the party were so intense while the leaders of the party expressed their concerns over government activism in the election and post-election period. The leaders of the party argued that the crackdown of Dushanbe government has practically prevented their entry into the Parliament.
Aside from this, however, after the civil war in Tajikistan in the years 1992- 1997 and according to the General Agreement of peace and national consent, from 27 June, 1997, according to the 30% quota for the opposition, the Islamic Renaissance Party joined the government forces.
However, after three years of a new round of the government and executive officials’ pressure on members and supporters of the party, last month the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan in a letter to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, European Union, Islamic Cooperation Organization and the guarantor countries of Tajikistan peace including Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., urged them to encourage the Tajik government to respect peace accords. In fact, from the perspective of the Islamic Renaissance Party, negligence to changes in government policies towards the members and leaders of the party led to disappointment among party members and undermined the party structures and violated the peace agreements and is contrary to the Tajikistan Constitution. In contrast to this approach, the Islamic Renaissance Party was faced with the government criticism which escalated the dispute.
In addition, on last Friday morning a series of attacks were reportedly conducted against security centers in Dushanbe and its suburbs, in which some people were killed and several others were wounded.
At the same time, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan rejected any link between the party and the attackers, saying, ” Abdelhalim Nazarzadeh has never been a member of the Party or the leader of the opposition; however, after the clashes, Emomali Rahmon, the President of Tajikistan, dismissed General Abdelhalim Mirza Nazarzadeh, Deputy of Minister of Defense, and banned the activities of the Islamic Renaissance Party. Although the Islamic Renaissance Party denied the claim of Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry, with the closure of the party, the gap between the government and the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan has reached its greatest extent after the Civil War