Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Zarbaliyeva / The Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan Farhad Abdullayev considers it natural to put for public discussion the suggestions of several parties regarding supplements and changes in the Constitution.
Several political parties consider constitutional reforms to be necessary. The Democratic Party of Azerbaijan (DPA) and the Popular Front Party of Unified Azerbaijan (PFPUA) suggested reducing the power of the President, formation of the Government of the Parliament, resuming proportional election system, and improvement of the number of MPs.
"As the head of the body which gives preliminary assessment to suggestions regarding Constitutional changes I consider it wrong to comment on the issue," he said to Trend on 8 November.
The suggestions mainly urged changing governing and political systems, Abdullayev said. "The Constitution gives a sovereign right to Azerbaijani people to define the governing system. Whether the suggestions will be implemented or not is contingent on the will of the nation," he added.
According to Abdullayev, political parties' suggesting changes and supplements in the Constitution is natural and laudable. The main function of political parties, which are the leading civil society institution, is to make suggestions which do not contradict with democratic principles and to get the suggestions accepted through civil ways. "The European Court on Human Rights characterized the activities of political parties as collective free expression. The Court once noted that a political party can promote making changes in a law or in legislative and Constitutional organizations through observing two following conditions: firstly, the means applied shall be legal and democratic; secondly, the changes suggested also should correspond with key democratic principles," Abdullayev said. "As the suggestions have political significance, one question should be immediately asked before they are accepted - what is the purpose and who needs them, as well as do they correspond with the up-to-date requirements?"
The Constitution of Azerbaijan was adopted in 1995. In accordance with the Constitution, the Government shall be formed by the President and parliamentary elections shall be based on majority election system. Mixed election system was used in Azerbaijan till August 2002. In 2002, proportional election system was abolished.
The Parliament consists of 125 MPs.