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ELECTION CODE OF
THE REPUBLIC OF
AZERBAIJAN


(Including amendments and changes made in accordance
with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated
November 11, 2003, June 8, 2004, October 12, 2004,
December 30, 2004, march 4, 2005, June 14, 2005, June
28, 2005, December 23, 2005, June 16, 2007, June 2, 2008,
December 16, 2008, March 5 and June 18, 2010, February
1, 2011, April 20, 2012 and April 30, 2013)

(excerpts)

 

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SPECIAL PART


SECTION FOUR
Referendum

CHAPTER Seventeen
General Provisions on Referendum


Article 117. Issues Solved through Referendum
Issues to be put to referendum shall be determined by Articles 3.1,
3.2, 11.3 and 152 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Article 118. Issues That May Not be Solved Through Referendum
Issues, which may not be put to referendum, shall be determined by III
part of Articles 3 and 155 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.


Article 119. Opinion of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of
Azerbaijan on Holding a Referendum on Amendments to
the text of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan
In accordance with Article 153 of the Constitution of the Republic
of Azerbaijan, if amendments to the text of the Constitution of
the Republic of Azerbaijan are suggested by the Milli Majlis or
the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, an opinion of the
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be obtained
in advance regarding the proposed changes. The rules for obtaining a
resolution of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan
shall be regulated by the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On the
Constitutional Court.”


Article 120. Obligation to Hold a Referendum
The decision of legislative and executive bodies of the Republic of
Azerbaijan on any issue may not exempt the conduct of a referendum
on the same issue.


Article 121. Cases Excluding the Holding of a Referendum
121.1. (Removed)
121.2. A repeat referendum on the same issue may be conducted only
1 year after the publication of the act adopted by the first referendum.

CHAPTER Eighteen
Determination of a Referendum

Article 122. Adoption of a Decision on Holding a Referendum
122.1. A decision to hold a referendum shall be adopted by the
Milli Majlis or the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan according
to Article 95.I.18 and 109.18 of the Constitution of the Republic of
Azerbaijan.
122.2. At least 300,000 citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan with
active suffrage may apply to the President or to the Milli Majlis of the
Republic of Azerbaijan with a proposal concerning the adoption of a
decision to hold a referendum.


Article 123. Requirements of a Decision to Hold a Referendum
123.1. The following should be indicated in the decision on hold a
the referendum:
123.1.1 the date the referendum will be held;
123.1.2 the name of act to be put to referendum;
123.1.3 a brief summary of the act to be put to referendum; and
123.1.4 the regulations of financing the referendum.
123.2. The draft act put to referendum shall be attached to the
decision to hold a referendum.
123.3. The draft act put to referendum may not be amended after
the holding of a referendum is announced.

Article 124. Familiarization with the Issues Put to Referendum
124.1. The draft act put to referendum should be published in the
mass media with the decision on holding a referendum. This shall
create the necessary conditions for more voters to become familiar
with the text of the referendum act.
124.2. A voter shall have the right to obtain the draft referendum act
at least 30 days prior to Voting Day, from a relevant Precinct Election
Commission. The Central Election Commission shall be responsible
for ensuring publication and distribution of the draft referendum act.


CHAPTER Nineteen
Preparation for Holding a Referendum

Article 125. Registration of Referendum Campaign Groups
Registration of referendum campaign groups shall be carried out
according to the order provided for in CHAPTER 11 of this Code.


Article 126. Appointing a Representative of Referendum
Campaign Groups to an Election Commission
A Central Election Commission or Constituency Election
Commission member with consultative voting rights may be appointed
only by the campaign groups registered with the relevant commission.

Article 127. Special Requirements for Conduct of Pre-referendum
Campaign through Mass Media
127.1. The participation of referendum campaign groups in the
pre-referendum campaign shall be regulated by CHAPTER 13 of this
Code.
127.2. One third of the total amount of free airtime of TV and
radio companies shall be allocated to referendum campaign groups
with more than 20,000 members for holding joint discussions and
roundtables and other campaigning activities. Rules for conduct of
such events shall be defined by the Central Election Commission.
127.3. Airtime for the conduct of joint campaign activities on
channels of the TV and radio companies mentioned in Articles 77.2 and
77.3 of this Code, shall be allocated and calculated for the referendum
campaign groups stipulated in those articles. The registered referendum
campaign groups should use this free airtime equally. In this case, the
amount of airtime to be used by each referendum campaign group
shall be determined separately.
127.4. The norm for using paid airtime allocated by TV and radio
companies specified in Article 77.1 of this Code shall be determined
by dividing its total amount of allocated airtime by the total number of
the referendum campaign groups mentioned in Articles 77.2 and 77.3
of this Code.
127.5. The space which is determined by dividing the total amount
of space allocated by the periodicals mentioned in Article 77.1 of this
Code by the total number of referendum campaign groups mentioned
in Articles 77.2 and 77.3 of this Code, may be used by the latter through
making the relevant payment.
127.6. Refusal of the registered referendum campaign groups from
participating in the activities mentioned in Article 127.2 of this Code
shall not result in an increase of the amount of free airtime allocated
according to Article 80.6 of this Code.

Article 128. Referendum Funds of Referendum Campaign
Groups
128.1. The rules for creation and use of referendum funds for
referendum campaign groups shall be regulated by CHAPTER 14 of
this Code.
128.2. The referendum funds of referendum campaign groups may
be formed from the following financial resources:
128.2.1. special funds of the referendum campaign groups which
may not be more than 5,000 manats;
128.2.2 (Removed)
128.2.3. Voluntary donations, not more than 1,000 manats for
citizens and 10,000 manats for legal entities.
128.3. The maximum limit for referendum funds of registered
referendum campaign groups mentioned in Article 77.4 of this Code
may not exceed 50 thousand manats. The maximum limit for the
referendum funds of registered referendum campaign groups mentioned
in Article 77.3 of this Code may not exceed one million manats; the
maximum limit the referendum funds of registered campaign groups
on referendum mentioned in Article 77.2 of this Code cannot exceed
five million manats.

Article 129. Special Referendum Accounts
129.1. Referendum campaign groups should open a special
referendum account to form their financial funds within 5 days of
submitting notification On the commencement of the signature
collection according to Article 63 of this Code.
129.2. In order to form a referendum fund, a referendum campaign
group should open a special referendum account on the basis of
documents submitted for the registration of the group’s authorized
financial representatives. This should be done after receiving a
certified copy of a notification from the Central Election Commission
or Constituency Election Commission, but at least 5 days prior to
presenting the referendum campaign group to the Central Election
Commission (Constituency Election Commission) for registration.
129.3. Referendum campaign groups shall be directly liable for
violation of financing rules defined by this Code during the financing
of their pre-referendum campaign.

Article 130. Transparency in Using Referendum Funds
130.1. It shall be obligatory for the referendum campaign groups
specified in Articles 77.2 and 77.3 of this Code to publish the following
information in accordance with Article 95.3 of this Code:
130.1.1. the financial report for spending of funds, if the size of the
referendum fund is more than 10 000 manats;
130.1.2. legal entities who made voluntary donations to the
referendum fund, in an amount greater than 5 000 manats;
130.1.3. the number of citizens who made donations to the
referendum fund, in an amount greater than 250 manats;
130.1.4. funds that are returned to donors and the grounds for their
return; and
130.1.5. the total amount of funds received to and spent from a
referendum fund.
130.2. Should a referendum campaign have less than 20,000
members, the information stipulated in Article 130.1 of this Code
shall be published in the manner determined by the Central Election
Commission.

Article 131. Order of Returning Funds Received by Referendum
Campaign Groups
131.1. With the consent of the relevant election commission,
referendum campaign groups may return unused funds from the
election fund, on a proportional basis, to the citizens and legal entities
who donated to the fund, up till the submission of the final financial
report. If the referendum campaign groups do not use this right, Article
132 of this Code shall be applied.
131.2. Referendum campaign groups not registered in the relevant
election commission shall be obliged to return unused election funds
to the citizens and legal entities that donated to the fund, in accordance
with the proportion of the received donations and excluding delivery
expense, up till the submission of the final financial report.

Article 132. Unused Funds in Special Accounts of Election
Funds of Referendum Campaign Groups
60 days after Voting Day, a relevant bank should transfer the unused
money in special accounts of referendum campaign groups to the
account of the Central Election Commission according to the written
instruction of the relevant election commission.

CHAPTER Twenty
Conduct of Referendum and
Determination of the Referendum
Results

Article 133. Referendum Voting Room
133.1. The referendum voting room shall be organized in
accordance with the requirements of Article 98 of this Code.
133.2. The Precinct Election Commission shall place samples
of referendum ballot papers and the draft referendum act on notice
boards inside the voting room or right in front of it.

Article 134. Referendum Ballot Paper
134.1. Referendum ballot papers shall be prepared in accordance
with the rule mentioned in Article 99 of this Code.
134.2. The statement of every issue put to referendum and the
possible responses of voters, e.g. “for” and “against”, “yes” and
“no,” “I agree” and “I disagree”, etc shall be written on the ballot
paper.
134.3. The Central Election Commission shall solve the issue of
attaching the draft of the referendum act to the ballot paper. If this
draft provides for the cancellation or amending of normative legal
acts that are in force, such normative legal act (or their relevant
parts) may be attached to the ballot paper based on the decision of
Central Election Commission.

Article 135. Voting Procedure during Referendum
135.1. Voting during a referendum shall be conducted in
accordance with Articles 104 and 105 of this Code.
135.2. A voter shall mark an empty square to the right of
the answer on the referendum ballot paper by choosing one of
the responses “for” or “against” (“yes” or “no,” “I agree” or “I
disagree”) proposed on the referendum.
135.3. The vote shall be considered invalid if both squares are
marked or remain unmarked.

Article 136. Vote Counting in Referendum Stations
136.1. Votes shall be counted, in accordance with Article 106 of
this Code, in referendum stations, and a protocol shall be compiled.
136.2. The following shall be included in the protocol in
addition to the provisions of Article 100.2 of this Code:
136.2.1 the number of voters who voted for the issue put to
referendum;
136.2.2 number of voters who voted against the issue put to
referendum.

Article 137. Vote Counting during a Referendum in a
Constituency Election Commission
137.1. The counting of votes in Constituency Election
Commissions shall be conducted in accordance with Article 107
of this Code.
137.2. The protocol of the Constituency Election Commission
shall contain, in addition to provisions of Articles 107.2 and 136
of this Code, the number of election precincts where voting results
have been invalidated.

Article 138. Completion of Referendum
138.1. The Central Election Commission shall announce the
official returns of a referendum not later than 25 days after the
referendum.
138.2. The Central Election Commission shall indicate, in
addition to provisions of Article 108 of this Code, the number of
election precincts where voting results have been invalidated, the
legal infringements that took place during voting or the determining
of voting results, the number of referendum constituencies that did
not allow for voters’ to express their will, the number of voters
who voted “for” each issue put to referendum, and the number of
voters who voted “against” each issue.
138.3. An issue put to referendum shall be considered accepted
if more than half the voters who participated in the referendum
voted in favor of it.
138.4. A referendum shall be concluded at the meeting of the
Central Election Commission, and the results shall be announced
in the form of an official notification on referendum returns.

Article 139. Invalidity of a Referendum and Invalidation of
Referendum Returns by the Central Election
Commission
139.1. A referendum on issues specified in Articles 3.2 and
153 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be
considered invalid, if less than 25% of voters from the integrated
voter list participate in the referendum.
139.2. The Central Election Commission shall invalidate the
returns of a referendum in the following cases:
139.2.1. if voting results are considered invalid or when they
are cancelled in more than two fifths of the referendum precincts,
under the condition that the number of registered voters in the
election precincts exceeds ¼ of all voters registered in the
constituency;
139.2.2. on the basis of a court’s decision.

Article 140. Publication of a Decision on the Outcome of a
Referendum
The Central Election Commission shall publish a decision made
by means of referendum and official notification on the outcome
of the referendum, together with the text of an act adopted by
referendum within, at the latest, 30 days after Voting Day.

CHAPTER Twenty One
Acts Accepted by Referendum

Article 141. Entry into Force of Acts Accepted by Means of
Referendum
Any act adopted by means of a referendum shall come into force
from the day of its publication.


Article 142. Legal Force of Decisions Made by Means of a
Referendum
Any act adopted by means of a referendum shall be final; it shall
have a compulsory legal force in the whole territory of the Republic
of Azerbaijan and may be cancelled or changed only by means of a
referendum.

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