50.8-percent voter turnout in Azerbaijani referendum vote: exit poll

Politics Materials 18 March 2009 16:52 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 18 / Trend , S. Javadsoy/

About 50.8 percent of voters have participated in exit-poll in the Azerbaijani referendum vote as of 16:00 local time, the ELS Studies Center Election Headquarters head Irada Yagubova told Trend .

ELS Studies Center and the Association for Civil Society Development Assistance (AVCIYA) have been registered with the Central Election Commission to conduct exit-poll.  

Both non-governmental organizations are conducting exit poll in 800 polling stations of 118 constituencies. Exit-poll is conducted by two individuals in each polling station.

Today Azerbaijan is holding referendum to amend 29 articles of 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 Constitution was adopted in 1995. Amendments and additions were made in 2002.

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