PACE to Send Referendum Assessment Mission to Azerbaijan

September 5th, 2016

aspa

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will send a seven-member delegation to Azerbaijan to conduct an assessment of the upcoming referendum in the country, as decided at today’s meeting of the PACE Bureau.

It was also decided at the same meeting to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Constitutional amendments.

On September 4, human rights defenders Emin Huseynov, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev, Leyla Yunus and Anar Mammadli appealed to Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, urging him to initiate the provision of the Venice Commission’s opinion on the proposed changes to the Constitution of Azerbaijan as well as on the compatibility of the planned referendum with Council of Europe standards.

Background: The referendum on amendments to the Constitution in Azerbaijan will be held on September 26. The Draft Referendum Act stipulates establishment of the posts of first vice-president and vice-presidents of Azerbaijan. It also extends the term of office of the president from 5 years to 7 years. Minimum age requirements for the president and parliamentarians are removed. Besides, the president is granted the power to dissolve the parliament.