Tajikistan Considering Rahmon’s Portrait On New Banknote

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Tajikistan's National Bank is considering the use of President Emomali Rahmon's portrait on a proposed new 1,000-somoni banknote, which would be worth about $127.

On December 14, the bank's press service confirmed reports about the possible new banknotes, saying the idea was proposed by a secondary school teacher named Hasanboi Asadov from the northern Isfara region.

Currently, Tajikistan's highest denomination banknote is the 100-somoni bill, worth about $12.70.

Asadov told RFE/RL that he proposed the idea a year ago, and recently received a letter from the bank that his proposal was being considered.

The reports come just days after Kazakhstan issued a 10,000-tenge banknote with a portrait of President Nursultan Nazarbaev as part of commemorations marking the country's 25th anniversary of independence from the former Soviet Union.

It is worth about $30 at the current foreign exchange rate.

In December 2015, Tajikistan followed another example of Kazakhstan and adopted a so-called "Leader of the Nation" law that granted Rahmon lifelong immunity from prosecution for anything he has done while in office.

The text of the legislation was similar to a 2000 constitutional provision about the first president of Kazakhstan.

In Turkmenistan, the late President Saparmurat Niyazov is depicted on almost all banknotes and coins issued from 1993 to 2005.

After Niyazov's death in December 2006, his portraits on the national currency -- the manat, were replaced by depictions of historic Turkmen figures.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.