Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 2 / Trend , J.Babayeva/
Opponents of referendum to amend the Azerbaijani Constitution are engaged in provocation, the governing New Azerbaijan Party's (NAP) Executive Secretary Ali Ahmadov said.
"Law violators' arrests are connected with referendum. These groups are functioning in an incorrect direction," Ahmadov said at the first meeting of the parliament's spring session.
In late December, Azerbaijan's parliament passed a decision to hold a referendum on March 18 to amend 29 Articles of the Constitution.
A total of 13 initiative groups have submitted signature lists to the Central Election Commissions (CEC). The CEC registered New Azerbaijan, Shahar and Taraggi initiative groups as agitation.
Some 113 initiative groups passed registration at precinct election commissions.
The Constitution was adopted in 1995. Amendments and additions were made in 2002.
The Azerbaijani CEC rejected a complaint of the opposition Musavat Party's Republicans initiative group at a meeting on Jan. 31.
The complaint claims that the initiative group's members have undergone pressure by police in the Azerbaijani regions, including Jalilabad, Khachmaz, Lankaran, Neftchala and Sumgayit city during gathering signatures.
The initiative group said that the police withdrew some part of the signed lists without any reason.
The Azerbaijani nation will unanimously support amendments and changes to the Constitution on March 18, Ahmadov said.
The governing party's MP Siyavush Novruzov said that opposition parties' initiative groups return empty signature lists to the CEC. "They say they have been forced to gather voters' signatures and people do not support their initiative. If drug addicts are in their districts, it is their problem. Let them investigate this fact," Novruzov said.
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