President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday signed a decree on September 26 referendum on changing the Constitution. The draft amendments Ilham Aliyev presented a week ago, but then the project was submitted to the constitutional court, which approved the changes on Monday.
Rejuvenation and strengthening of the President
The proposed amendments include increasing the presidential term from five to seven years, the introduction of the posts of first Vice-President and Vice-presidents of the country and the abolition of age limits for presidential candidates. Under existing rules, the President may be a citizen no younger than 35 years. The requirement for a candidate to Parliament is proposed to be reduced from the current 25 years to 18 years.
In the Constitution it is proposed to make amendments that will allow the President to declare carrying out of early elections of the President. In case of early departure of the President from office is proposed to reduce the timing of early elections from 3 months to 60 days. Just in the referendum vote for proposed 29 amendments to the Constitution.
The Constitution of Azerbaijan since the adoption in 1995 changed twice. When the father of the current President Heydar Aliyev in 2002 the basic law was changed because of the country’s accession to the Council of Europe: established the office of the Commissioner for human rights, citizens have the right of direct appeal to the constitutional court. In 2009, when Ilham Aliyev at the initiative of the presidential ruling party “New Azerbaijan” has been canceled restrictions on the number of terms that one person can hold the office of President. Then this initiative due to the need to strengthen political stability during the economic crisis.
For the harmony and for the family
Now the need for changes to the Constitution officials explain the economic reforms. Institute Vice-presidency is the strengthening of the “Executive will” state, this is done through the necessary reforms, said earlier the Chairman of the Committee on legal policy of the Parliament Rovshan Rzayev. In the country since the beginning of this year conducted an extensive economic reform. Liberalization of the economy in the framework of this reform, Aliyev approved in the end of last year after the devaluation of the national currency. In the beginning of the year, the country held spontaneous protests against the worsening economic situation.
Economic reform also envisages the introduction of changes in management practices sectors of the economy. To improve the management mechanism is necessary to properly distribute powers, so should the appearance of the Vice-presidents, said the head of the Baku club of political scientists “South Caucasus,” Ilgar Velizade. The changes will strengthen the Institute’s President, predicts the expert.
The opposition believes that the increase of the presidential term and the introduction of the post of the Vice-President aimed at preserving the power of the Aliyev family. The “Musavat” party considers the proposed reform of the official desire to build in the country of the monarchy from the side of Aliyev, the party categorically opposes the referendum, said a member of Majlis party Rufat, Boisbelle. The party draws attention to the fact that the proposed amendments are contrary to the fundamental principles of the Constitution of Azerbaijan and the principle of separation of powers. Party “people’s front” said that the reform of the Constitution is an attempt to create a constitutional Foundation for and so the existing unlimited power of one family. The Aliyev family has led the country since 1993.
The next presidential elections are scheduled for 2018. To them the current head of state are already as President of the third term, and if he decides to participate in this campaign, his fourth term will be completed only in 2025. This is sufficient time to find a successor, and, perhaps, to continue the dynasty, points out associate Professor of the Department of regional studies and foreign policy of the Russian state humanitarian University Sergey Markedonov. The President has three children: two daughters, Leyla and Arzu, and a son Heydar (born in 1997). In 2025 Heydar Jr. reaches his 28th birthday with the proposed changes, technically he can apply for the post of the head of state, indicates the expert.
The transition to the seven-year rule is necessary because today Azerbaijan and its leader is observed harmony, and there is no need for more frequent elections, explained the Deputy Rzayev. The reduction of the age limit necessary to give greater legitimacy to the reforms, to expand the range of persons who can participate in the elections, said political analyst Velizadeh. He did not agree that the changes are accepted in order to make possible the election of the President son of the current President. The issue of transfer of power is not worth, he said.
The same explanation about the need to expand the base of participants in the election gave the officials of Tajikistan, where in may passed a similar referendum. There was a reduced age limit for candidates to the Parliament and the presidency. The minimum age for a candidate for the presidency has dropped from 35 to 30 years, which will allow you to participate in the next elections of the President Rustam Emomali, son of the current President, Emomali Rahmon.