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Members of the Republic initiative group founded by Musavat Party in connection with the referendum on amendments to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic scheduled for 26th September have faced pressure from unknown people while collecting signatures in Jalilabad city, as reported by the group members themselves. According to them, the unknown persons grabbed the signature sheets and drove away in a car waiting nearby.
The group members say the incident happened on August 14 in the city center, near the regional police department.
Alipanah Rzali, the representative of the initiative group and member of Musavat Party’s Supreme Assembly, said the unknown assailants took two signature sheets away from him by force, got into a car and drove off.
Musavat member Hidayat Ismayilov said they managed to intercept the muggers’ car. “We knew in which direction they were heading and were able to intercept them. The passengers ran away, but the driver remained. We surrendered the driver and his car to the police department, and filed a complaint. They took our statement regarding the incident. The investigation is underway. The detained person said he had been assigned this task by an official of the local executive authority. He was also released after giving a statement,” Hidayat Ismayilov said.
The deadline for the submission of 40,000 signatures required for registration of a campaign group is August 22. So far, only the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party has submitted its signature sheets.
Background: On 18 July 2016, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on submitting the drat Referendum Act of Azerbaijan Republic on “Making amendments to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic” to the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan Republic. The Referendum Act was approved by the Constitutional Court on 25 July 2016. President Ilham Aliyev has set the referendum for 26 September 2016.