Azerbaijani Ruling Party Offers to Hold Referendum to Inject Changes into Constitution

Politics Materials 6 November 2008 17:50 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 November / Trend corr. I.Alizade / The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) offers to hold referendum to remove from the Constitution an Article, which bans of re-election to post of President of the country more than two terms,.

"The Article of the Constitution, which bans of re-election to the post of President of the country more than two terms, does not meet the democratic principles and limits democracy in the country," MP Siyavush Novruzov, the deputy executive secretary of the NAP, told Trend on 6 November.

In accordance with Paragraph 5 of Article 101 of the Azerbaijani Constitution, nobody can be elected President more than two times. Presidential term covers five years.

On 5 November Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev applied to the Federal Council to prolong President's office term from four years to six and term of the parliament from four years to five. Some experts believe that there is a need to prolong President's office term in Azerbaijan and to remove the Article, banning the re-election to more than two terms.

The NAP official believes that such a limit should not be in the Constitution. "The Constitution allows one person to be elected MP repeatedly. However, there is a limit for the President post. We think that the Constitution should not include such a limitation. Therefore, there is a need to inject changes into the Constitution and we will put forward this initiative," Novruzov said.

According to Novruzov, Azerbaijan does not need to prolong Presidential term.

Both office term of the Parliament and President should be prolonged in Azerbaijan, MP Eldar Ibrahimov, a member of the NAP Political Council and chairman of the Standing Parliamentary Commission for Agrarian Policy, told Trend on 6 November.

"Azerbaijan is in war with Armenia. Therefore, the President will have more opportunities to realize great projects, if his office term is long. I am MP for 20 years and can say that five-year is too short term," the chairman of the commission said.

One person should not be limited to be re-elected more than twice, Ibrahimov believes. "If I can be elected MP four times, why cannot be President re-elected more than twice, when he has gained people's trust, can fulfill his duties very well, as well as have a satisfactory health state? This ban means violation of human rights and right of President. We have to re-examine this issue because of demand of time," Ibrahimov said.

Heydar Aliyev, the chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakchivan, established the NAP in 1992. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is the current chairman of the ruling party, which has been in power for 15 years.

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