03 September 2016, 10:50

Azerbaijan: only supporters of constitutional amendments get right to campaign

Today, on September 3, Azerbaijan has started a campaign for the referendum on amendments to the Constitution. The campaign shall last 22 days and end on the day before the voting. Three campaign groups registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) will be able to take part in campaigning. All of them act in support of the amendments to the Constitution.

On July 18, President Ilham Aliev signed a resolution to direct to the Constitutional Court the draft of the Act on referendum on amendments to the Constitution. On July 25, the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan recognized holding a referendum as eligible.

The draft amendments provide for the prolongation of the presidential term from 5 up to 7 years, the introduction of the provision on dissolution of the Parliament, and the establishment in Azerbaijan of the positions of Vice Presidents.

The CEC has registered campaign groups "Yeni Azerbaijan" (established by the ruling party of the same name), "Civil Society" (established by the Confederation of Trade Unions of Azerbaijan and 25 pro-government NGOs), and "The Municipality" (established by municipal councils).

The campaign will take place in an environment of no alternative, noted Alesker Mamedli, an expert in media law, a member of the Public Association "Civil Society Platform".

"All three campaign group support the constitutional amendments. Opponents of the amendments will be very limited in their facilities, which will be reduced to the use of several opposition editions and social networks on the Internet," the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Alesker Mamedli.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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