DUSHANBE, February 9, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- The process of registration of candidates for the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) and local legislatures ended yesterday.

Muhibullo Dadajonov, head of the office of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda (CCER), told Asia-Plus today that 153 candidates had been registered to run for election to the Majlisi Namoyandagon in 41 single-mandate constituencies.

The commission endorsed list of candidates that will be elected through a proportional, party list system from a single, countrywide constituency in mid-January already.

Eight political parties have nominated a total of 73 candidates through the party list system.  The People’s Democratic Party (PDPT) has a party list of 22 candidates, the Islamic Revival Party (IRPT) has a party list of 20 candidates, the Communist Party’s (CPT) party list includes 9 candidates, the Social-Democratic Party’s (SDPT) party list – 7 candidates, the Agrarian Party’s (APT) party list – 6 candidates, the party list of the Party of Economic Reforms includes – 4 candidates, the Socialist Party’s (SPT) list – 3 candidates, and the Democratic Party’s (DPT) list – 2 candidates.

We will recall that of 63 seats in the Majlisi Namoyandagon, 22 seats come from party lists.  To win seat, parties must pass a five percent threshold.  The remainder is elected in first-past-the-post races.  In the single mandate constituencies, candidates must win an absolute majority of votes to be elected.  If none of the contestants manages to win an absolute majority during the first round, a second round of voting is held between the two leading candidates two weeks later.  For any of the elections to be valid, there must be at least a 50% voter turnout.