On Tuesday, the CEC of Azerbaijan has summed up the results of the referendum on Constitutional reform. The turnout of 69.7% of Azerbaijanis, of which 90% agreed with the extension of the presidential term from 5 to 7 years, the right of the leader of the Republic to dissolve Parliament and to appoint two Vice-presidents. Also abolished the age limit for the election of the President of Azerbaijan, and to become a member now can be 18 years old instead of 25. The opposition considers the referendum “Neomodernism” and predicts the transfer of power to his son Ilham Aliyev.
photo: Alexander Astafyev
117 observers from around the world praised the conduct of the referendum. As said the representative of PACE Alexander Nikoloski, the vote was transparent, and they trust the decision of the Azerbaijani people. Assistant Hasanov claims that constitutional reform was needed to strengthen the vertical of power, which the Republic will withdraw from the economic crisis.
Meanwhile, the Venice Commission did not endorse future changes. First, European experts do not understand why Aliyev is necessary to prolong the presidential term, if in 2009 the head of state may be re-elected an infinite number of times. Second, the members of the Commission believe that the President’s right to dissolve the Parliament will lead to the violation of the separation of powers and their independence from each other.
Official Baku says that “the Venetians” was motivated by a hatred of the state of Israel, therefore, to take into account their evaluation is not necessary. But the referendum also unhappy with the Republican opposition. In particular, opponents of the current President argue that the referendum was necessary in order for Ilham Aliyev was able to convey to his 19-year-old son Heydar Aliyev, the namesake and grandson of the third President of Azerbaijan. But to tell people the opposition just do not have time, laments the head of the National Council of democratic forces Jamil Hasanli, as the constitutional court approved the referendum on 25 July 2016 and 27 September already summed it up. However, opponents of Aliyev believe that the vote was admittedly invalid because in fact it was attended by less than 25% of voters.
According to experts of “MK”, through a referendum, Aliyev hopes to strengthen its authority in times of economic crisis, to after him to be able to hand over power by inheritance.
Sergey MINASYAN, Deputy head of the Caucasus Institute:
Constitutional reform was necessary Aliyev in order to insure to the time of the fall of oil revenues in the budget of Azerbaijan will not remain money. And this will happen very soon, as over the last couple of years, the manat was devalued virtually double the size. In order to maintain his power, Aliyev gave themselves the right to dissolve Parliament and distanced themselves from government with the introduction of a Vice-presidency. Apparently, he believes that in difficult economic conditions, he will not be able to trust neither deputies, nor Ministers, which will try to influence the oligarchs.
Azhdar KURTOV, chief editor of the magazine “Problems of national strategy”:
– Despite the fact that Baku is trying to show your democracy, everyone understands that Azerbaijan is on the path of strengthening of the authoritarian regime. In anticipation of the acute economic crisis, Ilham Aliyev is trying to “force the concrete into the Foundation of his power, as his country is very rich in natural resources, which in the case may try to take over Iran, the United States or even terrorists, and to topple. But Ilham is only 54 years old, and he’s not going to say goodbye to power, and when the time again comes, he probably plans to transfer power to his son, as in his time did his father. But Heydar Aliyev was recognized as a political heavyweight, what can be said about his successor. If the trend continues, and the next President will be a weak statesman, Azerbaijan may go the way of Syria. A Republic is not a monarchy and dynasty we cannot apply.
Meanwhile, in most CIS countries, the referendum on changes gosustroystva is the most common thing In the Constitution of Turkmenistan was amended were made six times. (in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2016) as a result of Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenbashi) life of the Board. Now Teramo same resultats committed and Goorangoola Berdimuhamedov.
Belarusian President Lukashenko has three times through referendums amended the Constitution ( in 1995, 1996 and 2004). Causing at first increased the presidential term to 5 years, and then became eligible to participate in the elections unlimited number of times.
In Kazakhstan changes were made to the Constitution three times: in 1998, 2007 and 2011. The most significant amendments concerning the status of the President occurred in 1998, when the term of office of the head of state was increased to 7 years, abolished the limit on the term of office of one and the same person, were abolished and restrictions on the maximum age of the President,
In Uzbekistan in 2002, presidential powers increased from 5 to 7 years.
In 2003, Kyrgyzstan held a referendum in order to allow President Askar Akayev to rule until 2005.
In Tajikistan in may of this year the referendum the leader of the country Emomali Rahmon received the opportunity to be re-elected any number of times.
In December 2016, Armenia will hold a referendum on the transformation of the presidential Republic into a parliamentary one.