Rakhmon, Emomali Sharipovich

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Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmon, 1952–, Tajik political leader, president of Tajikistan (1994–), b. Dangara. His surname was Rahkmonov until 2006, when he called for Tajiks to revive their traditions and derussify their names. Rakhmon was the head of a state cotton farm when he was elected to the Supreme Council of the Tajik SSR in 1990; the following year Tajikistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union. In 1992 President Rakhmon Nabiyev was ousted amid civil and ethnic strife, and when government was reestablished the parliament elected Rakhmon president. He was reelected in 1994, 1999, 2006, and 2013, but those elections generally have been criticized as neither free nor fair by international observers.