Opposition Party Appeals to Constitutional Court in Connection with Referendum Act

July 25th, 2016

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Ali Karimli, chairman of opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP), has appealed to the Constitutional Court in connection with the bill of amendments to the Constitution submitted by the President. On July 18, Azerbaijan’s President submitted draft Referendum Act on “Making Changes to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic” to the Constitutional Court for review and feedback.

According to Article 42.1 of the Law of Azerbaijan Republic on Constitutional Court, persons, whose interests are affected by amendments to the Constitution, can be recognized as stakeholders. There are a number of noteworthy points in the bill, such as extension of the presidential term from 5 years to 7 years, elimination of the lower age limit for being elected a member of the Parliament or the President, and granting the president the power to dissolve the Milli Majlis (Parliament) and to appoint an early presidential election. Another issue to focus on is the establishment of the positions of first vice-president and vice-presidents and granting the President the power to appoint people to these positions at his sole discretion. “It is prohibited by Article 155 of Azerbaijani Constitution to put to referendum such proposals as President’s substitution by vice-presidents appointed “without the will of the people” in case of early resignation and restriction of the right of private property,” the appeal reads.

In its appeal, the Party also states that the proposals included in the referendum act affect the interests of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and its sizeable membership, and according to Article 43 of the Law on Constitutional Court, stakeholders have the right to participate in and to have their say at the meetings of Constitutional Court.

At the end of the appeal, it was reminded that the meeting of Plenum was set for July 25, 10.00am, and it was requested to postpone the meeting to ensure APFP’s participation in Plenum as a stakeholder.