Azerbaijani referendum showed people’s trust in government: Russian political expert
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 19 / Trend , V. Zhavoronkova/
The referendum in Azerbaijan showed the people's trust in the government, Center for Post-Soviet Area Studies Director General Aleksey Vlasov said at a Baku-Moscow video conference.
Azerbaijan held referendum to amend 29 articles of the Constitution on March 18.
"Azerbaijan is taking steps to strengthen the government in an impartial way and concentrate the political resources of the president. This is an unbiased process. The referendum results show the people's trust in the government," Vlasov said.
He said Azerbaijan is not the first country to scratch limits on presidential terms.
Kazakhstan has also carried out such reforms, Vlasov said.
"This trend is linked with the development of post-Soviet countries that have become successful regional states, such as Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus and Kazakhstan in Central Asia. It is also linked with the global financial crisis and unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Vlasov said.
He added that it is wrong to say whether these types kinds of changes are undemocratic "as each country has its own circumstances and the word 'democracy' must be reconsidered in the 21st Century."
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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