Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 28
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Azerbaijan has successfully held the referendum, which was another democratic event, Ali Ahmadov, the country’s deputy prime minister, said in an interview with Azerbaijan newspaper.
“Azerbaijani citizens’ active participation in the referendum and seventy percent voter turnout were an important aspect of this democratic event,” Ahmadov, who is also deputy chairman and executive secretary of the New Azerbaijan ruling party, said.
"The Referendum Act signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev envisages amending 29 items of the country’s constitution,” he said. “This is the biggest constitutional reform, which will entail significant changes in the political system and governance practice."
“The country’s citizens stood for the issues put to the vote as they were initiated by President Aliyev,” he said. “Azerbaijani people trust President Aliyev.”
“The referendum results once again proved uncontested leadership of President Aliyev and people’s high trust in him,” he said.
"Azerbaijan has a great future,” he said. “The ongoing economic reforms were fixed in the legislation after the referendum. I am sure that afterwards, the reforms will be carried out more rapidly.”
"The opposition’s protest against any initiative of the authorities has become customary,” he said. “But people did not pay any attention to the opposition’s protest and rallies. The opposition lost its authority before people.”
The referendum to make amendments to Azerbaijan’s Constitution was held Sept. 26. The voter turnout throughout the country stood at 69.7 percent, or 3,671,707 people. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree July 18 on submitting the draft Referendum Act “On making amendments to Azerbaijan’s constitution” to the Constitutional Court.
The draft Referendum Act envisages establishing first vice-president and vice-president positions in Azerbaijan, extending the president’s term of office from five years to seven years, giving the authority to the president to dissolve the parliament (Milli Majlis) and declare early presidential election, removing the age limit for presidential election, decreasing the age limit from 25 to 18 for participation in the parliamentary election.