Voter turnout in Azerbaijani referendum is 52.47 percent as for 15.00 local time

Politics Materials 18 March 2009 16:06 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 18 / Trend , J.Babayeva/

Voter turnout in the Azerbaijani referendum amounts to 52.47 percent or 2,567,539 electorates as for 15.00 local time, the Elections Information Centre at the Azerbaijani Central Election Commission said.

There are 125 constituencies and 5,367 polling stations in Azerbaijan. A total of 4,893,382 electorates were registered.

Azerbaijan is holding a referendum on March 18 to amend the Constitution.

The referendum was initiated by the ruling New Azerbaijan Party. The referendum proposes to replace the current edition of the 5th paragraph of Article 101 of the Azerbaijani Constitution, which states that "no person shall be elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for more than two consecutive terms", by an option extending incumbent President's office term in case when ongoing military operations during a war make it impossible to conduct a regular presidential election. The term of office of Azerbaijani President is 5 years. The incumbent President Ilham Aliyev was elected to the post in 2003 and 2008.

A total of 41 amendments to 29 articles are planned to be made in the Constitution. The amendments envisage postponement of parliamentary elections in case of military operations, right of legislative initiative to 40,000 voters, ban on keeping video and audio recording and photographing a person against his will, financial support to ex-presidents of Azerbaijan, as well as technical changes.

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

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