The mission, headed by Mr. Keizo Takemi, Member of the House of Councillors (former State Secretary for Foreign Affairs), comprises five members. They will be dispatched to Tajikistan from February 25 (Fri) to March 1 (Wed), during which they will monitor voting and ballot counting, and will also meet with leading figures of the Government of Tajikistan.
The Government of Japan has already decided to extend a grant aid of approximately 150,000 U.S. dollars to the United Nations, which will be dispatching an electoral monitoring mission, with a view to assisting the fair and smooth implementation of the election.
Civil war continued in Tajikistan after it became independent in 1991. In June 1997, however, a peace agreement between the government and the former oppositions put an end to the civil war and the peace process started. Based on this agreement, a national referendum to revise the constitution took place on September 26 last year. As a result, Islamic political parties were legalized, and a presidential election with multiple candidates was implemented for the first time on November 6.
The coming parliamentary election is to be considered the final stage of the peace process based on the peace agreement. Since this election will for the first time include oppositions who were not permitted to participate in the previous parliamentary election (held in March 1995), the fair and smooth implementation of the coming election is extremely important to establish peace in Tajikistan.