Azerbaijani pro-opposition party allows members to vote freely in referendum

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 9/ Trend A. Huseynbala/

An Azerbaijani opposition party will not prohibit members from voting freely in the referendum.

"We have not established our own referendum initiative group, and we are not represented in any group as a party. Each party member can make his/her own decision to vote for or against the envisaged amendments to the Constitution," Deputy Chairman of the Adalat party Elkhan Shukurlu told Trend on Feb. 9.

Azerbaijan will hold a referendum on March 18 to amend the Constitution.

The CEC registered the New Azerbaijan Party, Shahar, Huquq Va Demokratiya and Vatandash Jamiyyati referendum initiative groups. The Abad Kand and Azad Soz groups failed to pass registration.

Precinct election commissions registered 124 initiative groups.

The Constitution was adopted in 1995. Amendments and additions were made in 2002.

Although no single group has been established, several members are participating in groups established by other political organizations, Shukurlu said.

"No party member is prohibited from taking part," he added.

Adalat was founded in <1993. The party joined the Azerbaijani Democratic Party in 1996, and later separated from the party in 2000. Member of parliament Ilyas Ismayilov has been the chairman since 2001. Ismayilov was a candidate for the post of president during the elections in 2003.

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