Professor says country’s election problem-filled



By Taylor Moak

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Elections can be controversial, and one UK professor traveled halfway around the world to see that one country’s were held correctly.

Stan Brunn, a UK geography professor, returned from Tajikistan on March 3 after observing the country’s elections in February.

Brunn was one of about 280 observers who were in Tajikistan just to observe the elections and “not to get involved in any way, shape or form.” He was deployed to a small provincial city south of the capital, Dushanbe, and stayed in the small city of Kulov.

The elections were held on February 28, and Brunn said they had many irregularities.

Proxy voting, ballot box stuffing and security issues were some of the irregularities. People turned in votes for other people and some were intimidated by security people in the voting areas, Brunn said.

Brunn said his experience in Tajikistan was one makes that makes him more supportive for people to have a say in their government and shows why people should not be denied the basic human right of free political expression.

“It was a tough assignment,” Brunn said. “Not only in demands of time, but in the places they were sent.”

Tajikistan is a poor country, and Brunn said the hotel they stayed at in Kulov did not always have electricity or water.

However, Brunn said the experience was worth the inconveniences.

“It was a real adventure,” Brunn said. ”a rugged adventure.”