Azerbaijani opposition referendum group to appeal Venice Commission

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 25 / Trend , A. Huseynbala/ Azerbaijani opposition's referendum campaign group will send a document on constitutional amendments to the Council of Europe Venice Commission.

"We argue that the referendum contradicts article 156 and 158 of the Azerbaijani Constitution. We want the Venice Commission to provide its conclusion on this issue," Musavat party central executive office head Arif Hajili told Trend . The Musavat party is a member of the Movement for Karabakh and Republic.

Azerbaijani referendum groups launched campaigning on Feb. 18.

Referendum groups have been allotted 90-minute airtime a per week both on Public Television and Public Radio each. The groups will have an opportunity to debate referendum from 18:15 to 19:45 on Saturdays on the Public Television and from 20:15 to 21:45 on Wednesdays on the Public Radio Station. The referendum campaign groups will be allotted four free airtimes during the campaign period.

The referendum campaign will end at 24:00 on March 16.

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

The Central Election Commission registered the New Azerbaijan, City, Progress, Law and Democracy and Civil Society initiative groups. The Prosperous Village, Free Speech, Azerbaijan People's Republic and National Independence initiative groups were not registered.

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

Hajili said they had to appeal to the Venice Commission as Azerbaijanis respective bodies did not respond.

The Movement for Republic and Karabakh was founded by Azerbaijani Popular Front Party, Citizens and Development Party, Democrat, Musavat and Umid party.

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