On Monday evening the sociological service began to announce the results of surveys of participants of the constitutional referendumheld in Azerbaijan. Based on the exit polls we can make a clear conclusion that the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Republic supported all of the proposed amendments to the main law of the country.
“These exit polls indicate that the citizens of Azerbaijan responded positively to the referendum questions. We trust them. Exit polls conducted by professional experts”, – TASS quoted the Deputy Chairman of the ruling party “Yeni Azerbaijan” Ali Akhmedov.
In the text of the Constitution of Azerbaijan proposed to amend 23 articles and add to it six new articles. A number of amendments stipulate the establishment of the posts of first Vice-President and Vice-President who will be appointed to the post and released from it by the President.
In addition, the referendum proposed to increase the presidential term from 5 to 7 years and to expand the powers of the President, giving him the right to declare the extraordinary elections of the President and dissolve Parliament. The changes also involve the abolition of the age limit for applicants for the post of President and the reduction from 25 to 18 years the minimum age of candidates for Parliament.
The Agency Trend with reference to the League of protection of labor rights and the U.S.-based Arthur J. Finkelstein & Associates reports that “for” the amendments to the Constitution voted 88.9 percent of the respondents. According to the results of the exit polls, voter turnout was 67.5 percent.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on 26 July signed a decree to hold a referendum to amend the Azerbaijani Constitution. The opposition criticized the initiative of the head of the Republic, indicating that the increase of the presidential term and the introduction of the post of the Vice-President aimed at preserving the power of the Aliyev family.
In 2009, Azerbaijan held a referendum in which the electorate voted for the abolition of restrictions on the reelection of the same President more than twice. Ilham Aliyev won three times at the presidential elections in Azerbaijan in 2003, 2008 and 2013.
Note that a similar situation is in Tajikistan, where President Emomali Rahmon also by referendum recently won the right to be re-elected unlimited number of times. 63-year-old politician has held the post of President of the Republic since 1994. In Uzbekistan from 1990 to 2016, the head of state was Islam Karimov, whose powers are stopped in connection with the recent death.