By Nigar Abbasova
Preparations are in full swing in Azerbaijan for the upcoming constitutional referendum scheduled for September 26, while certain stages of the process have already been completed.
The adjustment and approval of the list of voters residing abroad have already been completed.
Polling stations are expected to be created 30 days before the voting day in diplomatic representations, located in some 40 countries to ensure participation of the country’s citizens (residing abroad or sent on an assignment trip) in the referendum.
Agitation campaign will be launched 23 days prior to the voting day (September 3) and will be completed 24 hours before the start of the referendum (September 25).
To date, 161 observers have been registered at Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission (CEC) to observe the referendum, CEC Chairman Mazahir Panahov said, while addressing the commission’s meeting on August 31. .
Panahov said that six observers are from the Secretariat of the Council of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Interparliamentary Assembly.
The chairman noted also that 7,503 people have been registered to date to observe the referendum at district election commissions.
He added that any observer, who has the right to conduct observation, should have no problems.
“CEC trainings on electoral districts will start from tomorrow,” said the chairman. “Our latest event will be held jointly with the Penitentiary Service.”
Panahov said that there is a need to enhance ties with campaign groups. The distribution of ballot papers needs to be finished within 15-20 days before the referendum, he added.
During the meeting, the determination of the relevant electoral districts was discussed in order to include citizens, who will vote abroad, in the voter lists.
Moreover, the protocol of the CEC meeting, dated August 27, 2016, was discussed and unanimously adopted during the meeting.
Amendments are proposed to 29 articles of the Constitution.
Referendums were also held in Azerbaijan in 1995, 2002. The last time changes to the Constitution were made seven years ago, following Constitutional referendum held in 2009.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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