Azerbaijan referendum highly successful: int’l monitors

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 19 / Trend , V.Zhavoronkova, E.Rustamov/

International monitors noted the high level of organization, transparency and democracy in the referendum to amend the Azerbaijani Constitution.

The referendum was very successful, Spanish senators Altava Laval and Ortiz Perez told Trend .

Azerbaijan held a referendum on March 18 to amend the Constitution.

"The referendum took place without any problems, and we were satisfied that everything was organized at a high level," the senators said.

"We did not uncover any violations in the referendum," French Delegation Deputy Head Michel Voisin told Trend .

"The referendum is the best means to demonstrate democracy. The elections transpired without incident at all the polling stations where I held monitoring and the elections were organized well," he said.

European independent monitors and local NGO monitors said they did not find any violations in the voting process, he said.

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

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), 87-92 percent of voters supported the amendments.

The referendum proposes replacing the current version of the 5th paragraph of Article 101 of the Constitution, which states that "no person shall be elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for more than two consecutive terms," by an option to extend the incumbent president's term in the event of ongoing military operations. The presidential term is 5 years.

President Ilham Aliyev was elected to the post in 2003 and 2008.

A total of 41 amendments to 29 articles are planned. The amendments envisage postponing parliamentary elections in the event of military operations, banning video and audio recordings and photographs of individuals against their own will and providing financial support to ex-presidents.

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