Emomali Rahmon (Tajik: Эмомалӣ Раҳмон, romanized: 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. His rule is commonly regarded as a dictatorship.
Rahmon was born as Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov (Russian: Эмомали́ Шари́пович Рахмо́нов, romanized: Emomali Šaripovič Rahmonov) to Sharif Rahmonov and Mayram Sharifova, a peasant family in Danghara, Kulob Oblast (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 an electrician.
As rising apparatchik in Tajikistan, he became a chairman of the collective state farm of his native Danghara. According to his official biography, Rahmon graduated from the 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
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 government.
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 November 1998.
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 meaningful pluralism”