EU comments on constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan

  28 September 2016    Read: 1453
EU comments on constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan
The European Union has called on Azerbaijan to address concerns following a Council of Europe (CoE) mission to assess the 26 September referendum on draft amendments to the constitution.
According to the initial findings of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly`s ad hoc assessment mission, a majority of citizens voted in favour of all 29 questions put to referendum, in a peaceful atmosphere, said an official EU statement on Sept. 28.

“Some shortcomings were noted, however, in the process, notably as regards prior debate in Parliament, while some activists were also detained during the campaign,” the statement said.

“Considering this as well as the concerns raised by the Council of Europe`s Venice Commission in last week`s preliminary opinion on the constitutional amendments, the European Union invites Azerbaijan to take account of the Venice Commission`s findings and concerns during the process of implementation of the draft constitutional amendments. The European Union will remain engaged in dialogue with Azerbaijan as regards these and other key issues,” the statement said.

The referendum to make amendments to Azerbaijan’s Constitution kicked off at 8:00 am and wrapped up at 7:00 pm Sept. 26.

As many as 117 international observers – MPs from over 30 countries as well as observers from various international organizations, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) – were accredited by Azerbaijan’s CEC to observe the referendum.

The total number of the observers was around 53,000.

According to Azerbaijan’s Election Code, the referendum was declared valid.

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