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Is the West Supporting the Aliyev Regime to Strengthen Its Powers?

analitikaua.net

Azerbaijan will hold a referendum on constitutional changes on September 26, intending to expand the presidential powers. One can already predict that the Azerbaijanis almost unanimously will vote for the extension of the presidential powers, despite some resistance shown by the opposition, which is being oppressed by Baku. Thus, the Azerbaijani authorities allowed the rally against constitutional changes by the opposition. However, it should be noted that the police warned the initiators of the protest - "National Council" and the party "Musavat", they would not allow "provocations".

In short, in this way Azerbaijan tries to play a moderate democracy with the West, which is not indifferent to anti-democratic developments in Azerbaijan. In any case, the West has not yet evaluated the draft constitutional changes. The Venice Commission is going to submit their preliminary conclusions on the proposed changes a week before the referendum. Despite the request of the Azerbaijani activists, the Council of Europe also doesn't hurry to give a legal assessment of the changes. 

Regardless of assessment of the changes, experts predict that the West's reaction to the outcome of the referendum would be ambiguous: the United States will strongly criticize the authorities in Baku and the European reaction will be milder due to energy relations with Azerbaijan.

The amendments prolong the presidential term from five to seven years and introduce the posts of first vice president and vice president, rferl.org reports.  Experts emphasize that the amendments to the Constitution aimed at strengthening of authoritarianism in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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