Azeri Ruling Party Set To Change Constitution To Remove Ban For Pres


Nov 7 2008

The article in the Azerbaijani constitution banning Ilham Aliyev to
stand for a third term will be removed

The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) is proposing to hold a referendum
on removing the article of the constitution banning the election of
a person to the post of president more than two terms. "The article
of the constitution, banning a person to be elected a president more
than two terms, does not correspond to democratic principles and
restricts democracy," the deputy executive secretary of the NAP,
MP Siyavus Novruzov, told Trend news on Thursday.

In line with Point 5 of Article 101 of the Azerbaijani constitution,
no-one can be elected to the post of president more than two terms. The
term in office of the president is five years. Yesterday, in his
address to the Federal Council, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev
proposed to extend the term in office of the president from four to
six years and the parliament from four to five years.

Some experts assume that there is a need for extension of the term
in office of the president in Azerbaijan and eliminating a ban on a
person to be elected more than two terms. A representative of the NAP
considers that the constitution should not contain such a restriction.

"The constitution allows an individual to be elected a parliamentarian
for several times. However, a ban is in place for the president
to this end. We believe that this [ban] should not be in the
constitution. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce changes to
the constitution and we shall come up with such an initiative,"
Novruzov said.

There is no need for extending the term in office of the president
in Azerbaijan, considers Novruzov. The chairman of the parliamentary
standing commission on agrarian policy, MP Eldar Ibrahimov, of the
ruling party, told Trend news on Thursday that there is a need in
Azerbaijan for extending the terms in office of both the parliament
and the president.

"Azerbaijan is in a state of war with Armenia. Therefore, the longer
be the term in office of the president, the greater amount of work
can be performed. I am a member of parliament for 20 years and can
say that the five-year term is a very short period," the chairman of
the commission said.

One cannot restrict election of a person to the presidency for two
terms, Ibrahimov believes. "How can it be that I can become an MP for
four times, however, the president, who copes with his obligations,
justifies confidence of the people in him and is healthy physically,
cannot be a president more than two terms?

This ban tramples upon human rights and the right of the
president. Paying heed to requirements of the time, we have to again
review such issues," said Ibrahimov.

The NAP was set up in 1992 by [former president] Heydar Aliyev. At
present the chairman of the ruling for over 15-year party is President
Ilham Aliyev.

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