Constitution Digest

News and announcements from the Comparative Constitutions Project

September 30, 2016

Azerbaijanis vote to amend constitution. In a referendum on Monday, 88.6% of Azerbaijani voters approved constitutional amendments that will increase the presidential term from five to seven years, allow the president to call for new presidential elections, create positions of "first vice presidency" and "deputy presidents," and remove the age minimum for the presidency. Prior to the referendum, Amnesty International asserted that the vote to expand executive latitude was marred by government suppression of expression.
Bosnian Serbs vote to maintain nationalist holiday. On Sunday, Serbs living in the autonomous Republika Srpska region of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted with overwhelming support to continue celebrating "Statehood Day" on January 9, which marks the day the Serbian territory was first established in 1992 just before the years-long civil war broke out. The vote defies a ruling from Bosnia's Constitutional Court, which found that the holiday discriminates against non-Serbs.
Turkish opposition party challenges post-coup decrees. Turkey's Republican People's Party (CHP) has begun challenging the constitutionality of the country's post-coup decrees in the Constitutional Court. The CHP cites as precedent the court's nullification of some 1991 decrees for being irrelevant to the state of emergency, but the government argues that courts cannot review emergency decrees.
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