Tajikistan's Islamic Renaissance Party is supporting a woman
in its upcoming presidential elections:
A secularist woman with a politically
independent streak seems an odd choice for an Islamist party to support
in Tajikistan's upcoming presidential race.
But for the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT), Oinihol Bobonazarova
offers an opportunity for victory in what is widely seen as an
unwinnable election on November 6.
Bobonazarova, a human rights lawyer and activist, was tapped early this month to represent the United Reformist Forces, a merger that brings together
the IRPT, the Social Democratic Party, and several nongovernmental
groups and influential political players in the opposition.
The IRPT later confirmed its backing for Bobonazarova during a party
congress, surprising observers who had watched the party groom its own
potential candidates for years.
Bobonazarova is not really an IRPT nominee, but rather the candidate of a united opposition front of which it is a member. She also has no chance of winning, and "victory" in the above excerpt means primarily a victory in messaging as Tajikistan's main Islamist group burnishes its moderate and democratic credentials. Still, that burnishing could be a tough sell given the opposition to this endorsement from many conservative rank-and-file members.
Labels: Tajikistan, Women's Rights