March 29, 2007 (GBN News): Emomali Rakhmon, currently President of Tajikstan, will soon become the New York City Schools Chancellor, replacing Joel Klein. In a surprise move, Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement today at a City Hall news conference. The Mayor praised the accomplishments of Mr. Klein, saying that he had done a “heckuva job”, but that it was “time for a change”.
Mayor Bloomberg did not offer any specific reasons as to why he had become disillusioned with Mr. Klein. However, sources said that the Mayor had come to realize that test scores and graduation rates were not going up as fast as desired, and he attributed this to "widespread defiance" of the Chancellor's ban on cell phones.
According to these sources, Mayor Bloomberg had read an article in yesterday’s New York Times about Mr. Rakhmon and felt that not only was his cell phone policy stricter than Mr. Klein’s, but his track record as Tajik strongman showed that he was capable of enforcing it. Among what the Times called a “series of idiosyncratic decrees”, Mr. Rakhmon has banned cell phones and cars for university students and ordered families to drop the Slavic “ov” from the names of new babies. The Mayor was also reportedly impressed that, as the Times put it, the Tajik president “won a third seven year term in November in a presidential election widely dismissed as a farce”.
Mayor Bloomberg dismissed criticism that President Rakhmon is a ruthless, autocratic dictator. “That’s what dictatorial control is all about”, the Mayor said. “Dictatorial control means dictatorial control, thank you very much. He is my representative, and he is going to do things that I believe in”. The Mayor added that Mr. Rakhmon should have no problems serving under him, stating, “We think alike.”
In what was termed a “lateral move”, the outgoing schools Chancellor is slated to replace Mr. Rakhmon as President of Tajikstan.