Parliamentarians set date for referendum on constitutional amendments

10/02/2016 15:19
Avaz Yuldoshev
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DUSHANBE, February 10, 2016, Asia-Plus -- Lawmakers in Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament have unanimously approved the date for a referendum  on constitutional amendments after the Constitutional Court ruled that changes to the country's constitution that were legal.  “The presented amendments and additions in their totality fulfill the highest values of the Constitution and reflect the process of political democratization,” the court declared in a statement on February 4.

A regular sitting of the second session of Majlisi Namoyandagon of the fifth convocation, presided over by its head, Shukurjon Zuhurov, was held on February 10.

60 lawmakers attended today’s meeting and 15 of them spoke at the meeting.  All of them noted that the constitutional changes would promote strengthening of the constitutional system of the country and protection of human rights and freedoms.

Majlisi Namoyandagon deputies unanimously approved the date of the referendum on constitutional amendments.

The referendum will be held on May 22 and there will be only one question in the referendum bulletin “Do you support amendments proposed to the Constitution of Tajikistan?”

The full text of the constitutional amendments will be published within the next three days.

We will recall that the amendments adopted by lawmakers in January would allow President Emomali Rahmon, who was designated as the Leader of the Nation, to run for office indefinitely.

The amendments would also lower the required minimum age for presidents from 35 years to 30, enabling Rahmon's eldest son, Rustam Emomali, to take part in a presidential election scheduled for 2020, when he will be 33.

The age limit is also being lowered for parliamentary candidates, judges in the Supreme, Constitutional and Higher Economic Courts.

Amendments to Article 28 of the Constitution, which regulates the creation of political parties, will bar the formation of parties on a religious or atheist basis.

One of the amendments provides for abolishing the Council of Justice (Shuroi Adliya), which draws up candidates for courts cross varying levels and regions.

 The Constitution provides for unitarianism, strong presidential power, status of the Tajik language as state language, status of the Russian language as language of interethnic communication, and autonomy of the Gorno Badakhshan Region.   


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