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Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on

Referendum in the Republic of Tajikistan

Chapter 1

General provisions

Article 1. Definition of referendum in the Republic of Tajikistan

Referendum in the Republic of Tajikistan is a national voting on the more important issues of state and public life.

The Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan is subject to amendments exclusively via referendum.

Decisions made by national referendum have the highest legal power and need no confirmation and are applicable all over the territory of Tajikistan.

Article 2. Issues beyond referendum of the Republic of Tajikistan

In accordance with Article 100 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, republican form of governance, territorial integrity, democratic, legal, secular and social essence of the state are immutable and are not subject to solicitation by referendum in the Republic of Tajikistan.

Issues of territorial division, taking emergency and urgent measures for protection of the public order, protection of health and security of the population, changing status and territorial integrity of Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region, as well as issues related to appointing to and relieving of posts that are in competence of Majlisi Milli and Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan, joint sessions of Majlisi Milli and Majlisi Namoyandagon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and issues regarding execution of international agreements by the Republic can not be brought up to the referendum.

Article 3. Right of citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan for participation in referendum

Citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan who reach age of 18 and have suffrage in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan enjoy the right to take part in referendum.

Persons who had been recognized by court as incapable or are in penitentiary institutions by decision of court have no right to take part in referendum. Citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan take part in referendum regardless of their origin, social and property status, racial or ethnic belonging, sex, education, language, religion, political outlooks, and type of occupation.

Any direct or indirect restriction of right of citizens of Tajikistan for taking part in referendum is inadmissible and shall be prosecuted by law.

Article 4. General principles of conducting referendum

Citizens take free, direct and personal part in referendum.

Voting at referendum is secret, control over expression of citizens' will is prohibited.

Citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan take equal part in Referendum, stations located in their living places. Each citizen has one vote.

Article 5. Legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan on referendum

Legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan on referendum consists of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, the present Constitutional Law, and other laws of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Article 6. Publicity in preparing for referendum

In the course of preparation and conduction of referendum, broad publicity for public participation is secured.

Political parties, trade unions, other public associations registered in accordance with laws, state and public bodies taking part in organizing and conducting of referendum act openly, publicly, with observance of acting legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Political parties, trade unions, other public associations, labor collectives and individuals are guaranteed the right of free campaign for or against the issue of the referendum.

Such campaign is prohibited on the day of referendum.

Decrees related to referendum and issues being brought up to referendum are subject for publishing in official mass media within ten days after adoption by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan or Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Mass media highlight preparations and process of referendum, their representatives are guaranteed free access to all meetings and sessions related to referendum and access to relevant information.

Referendum Commissions timely inform population on their composition, location, schedule of work, creation of stations, and lists of citizens who have right to participate in referendum.

Political parties, trade unions and other public associations, labor collectives, mass media, observers from other countries, international organizations have the right to delegate one representative to sessions of commissions for referendum, in station premises at day of referendum, counting of votes, determining results of referendum. Their mandates should be confirmed by appropriate documents.

Political parties, trade unions, other public associations, labor collectives inform appropriate commissions for referendum on their representatives not later than five days prior to referendum.

Interference of the above-mentioned representatives and observers in process of voting and work of commissions is prohibited. However, they have right, upon permission of chairperson of commission for referendum, put forth questions and demand for their explanation, draw attention of members of commission and present public to violations of the current Constitutional Law.

Article 7. Material support for referendum

Expenditures, related to preparation and conduction of referendum, from the moment of appointing, is covered by state budget of the Republic of Tajikistan.

State and public organizations, enterprises, institutions and organizations provide free premises and equipment required for conducting of referendum.

Chapter 2

Appointing referendum

Article 8. Right to appoint referendum

The right to appoint referendum in the Republic of Tajikistan belongs to the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Article 9. Initiative on proposing referendum

Initiative on proposing amendments to the Constitution belongs to the President or at least 1/3 of total number of members of Majlisi Milli and deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Initiative on proposing referendum, except the issues mentioned in part 1 of the present Article belongs to not less than 1/3 of total number of members of Majlisi Milli Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan or not less than 1/3 of total number of deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Article 10. Procedure for use of right of initiative for proposing referendum

Proposal for conducting referendum is addressed to the President of the Republic of Tajikistan or to Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The proposal of conducting a referendum should contain the following: ground for the necessity of conduction of a referendum, distinct definition of issues put forth at referendum, and signatures of not less than 1/3 of total number of members of Majlisi Milli Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan or not less than 1/3 of total number of deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan, and for making amendments to the Constitution not less than by 1/3 of total number of members of Majlisi Milli and deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon.

President of the Republic of Tajikistan or Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan consider the submitted materials on conduction of referendum of the Republic of Tajikistan not later than 6 months after the materials requesting conduction of a referendum are submitted.

Article 11. Passing resolution on proposal for conduction of referendum

Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of RT, taking into consideration the conclusions of competent committees or commissions, has the right to make any of the below-mentioned decisions:

a) on appointing referendum, its date and safeguarding measures;

b) on declining the proposal on referendum;

c) on passing a law or taking other decision, with regard to submitted proposal on referendum, without the subsequent conduction of referendum.

Decision on conducting referendum, except for cases defined in Article 12 of the present Constitutional Law is valid if more than half of the total number of deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli vote for it.

Article 12. Decision making on proposal for changes and additions in the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan

Resolution on changes and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan is passed by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan or by not less than one-third of total number of members of Majlisi Milli and  deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Resolution on conduction of referendum for changes and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan is passed by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan or by not less than two-third of total number of deputies of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan 

In case Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the RT declines proposal for changes and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan it can be renewed not earlier than in a year.

Article 13. Terms for conduction of referendum

Referendum cannot be held earlier than two months from the date of adopting resolution on its conduction.

This term can be changed by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan or Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Chapter 3

Preparation for referendum

Article 14. Referendum Districts and Stations  

Districts for referendum are formed by Central Commission for Elections and Referendum (CCER), within the boarders of districts and cities of the republican and regional subordination. In Dushanbe, referendum districts are formed within the boarders of city districts. In case the district is in jurisdiction of the city Majlis, than it is considered as 1 district.

Lists of districts with definition of their borders and location of district commissions is published by the CCER within ten days after the referendum is appointed.

Referendum stations are formed by district commissions for referendum, in an order provided in Article 21 and 22, Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Elections of Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan".

In case referendum is held within two months, referendum stations are formed not later than within twenty five days after Referendum is appointed.

In case referendum and elections to Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan is held on the same day, one station is created for both.

Article 15. Referendum Commissions

The following commissions are formed for conducting of referendum of the Republic of Tajikistan:

1. Central Commission for Elections and Referendum of the Republic of Tajikistan;

2. District referendum commissions;

3. Station referendum commissions.

Authority of district and station referendum commissions is legal from the moment of their formation and expires after one month from the moment the results of referendum are published.

Article 16. Formation of commissions for referendum

The Central Commission for Elections and Referendum (CCER) is formed as a permanent body in accordance with Article 11 of Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On elections to Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan".

District referendum commissions are formed in accordance with Article 13, Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On elections to Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan".

Station referendum commissions are formed in accordance with Article 13 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On elections to Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan".

Station referendum commissions are formed in accordance with Articles 16 and 17 of Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On elections to Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan".

Article 17. Authority of Central Commission for Elections and Referendum of the Republic of Tajikistan

Central Commission for Election and Referendum has to accomplish the following:

1. supervises implementation of the present Constitutional Law in the whole territory of the Republic of Tajikistan, provides its equal implementation, publishes guidelines within its authorities and elucidates the present Constitutional Law;

2. forms referendum districts;

3. establishes referendum district commissions and publishes information on their location;

4. guides the activity of referendum commissions, determines order of changes of their members, independently or by proposal of the General Prosecutor of the RT cancels resolutions of district referendum commissions, in case these resolutions contradict the present Constitutional Law;

5. resolves issues of jurisdiction of referendum stations that are abroad, under the jurisdiction of the referendum districts;

6. allocates funds to district commissions for referendum, supervises provision of district commissions with premises, transport and communication means and reviews other issues with regard to material and technical supplies;

7. determines forms of referendum ballots, lists of voters,  referendum commission protocols, other related documents, samples of ballot boxes and seals of referendum commissions, the order of referendum file keeping;

8. listens to reports of heads of ministries and state committees and departments of the Republic of Tajikistan, local executive authorities and public associations on issues of preparations and conduction of referendum;

9. Wraps up results of referendum all over the Republic of Tajikistan;

10. determines the results of referendum and published it in mass media;

11. reviews applications and complaints on decisions and actions of referendum commissions;

12. implements other authorities provided for by the present   Constitutional Law and other laws of the Republic of Tajikistan.0

Article 18. Authorities of district referendum commissions

District commission for referendum:

1. Controls over implementation of the present Constitutional Law in territory of the district;

2. Forms referendum stations, sets their numeration, establishes station referendum commissions and coordinates their activity;

3. Listens to reports of local executive authorities, heads of enterprises and organizations on issues related to preparation and conduction of referendum;

4. Distribute funds to station commissions, controls provision of station commissions with premises, transport, communications means and resolves other issues of material and technical supply for referendum in territory of the district;

5. Supervises preparation of lists of voters, and present the lists for public;

6. Ensures provision of ballots to station referendum commissions;

7. Summarizes results of referendum in the district and submits it to the Central Commission;

8. Reviews applications and complaints on decisions and actions of station commissions and makes decisions on them;

9. Carries out other authority in accordance with the  present Constitutional Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Article 19. Authority of station referendum commission

Referendum commission:

1. Prepares lists of  voters for participation in the referendum.

2. Familarizes citizens with the lists, accepts and reviews complaints on mistakes and inaccuracies in the lists and makes decisions on correcting them;

3. Accepts from citizens, who do not have possibility to be in places of their residence and vote on the day of referendum, sealed envelopes with their decisions and ensures the secrecy of voters will;

4. Informs population on location of station commission, its working schedule, and also on the day of referendum and place of voting;

5. Provides preparation of premises for voting, ballot boxes and other equipment;

6. Organizes voting in the station on the day of referendum;

7. Counts votes in the station;

8. Reviews applications and complaints on issues of preparation of referendum, organization of voting, and makes decisions on them;

9. Implements other authorities in accordance with the present Constitutional Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Tajikistan.

In case of simultaneous conduction of referendum and elections to Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan, election station commissions implement authority of referendum station commission.

Article 20. Membership in commissions for referendum

A member of referendum commission should be impartial and objective while performing his authority.

Member of commission can be relieved of his responsibilities by his personal will or in case if he is deprived authority. 

The right of depriving authority of a commission member belongs to the body that establishes the commission, in case of violation the requirements of the present Constitutional Law or systematic neglect of duties. In case of necessity, a new member of commission is appointed, in procedure provided for by the present Constitutional Law.

One person can be member of only one commission for referendum.

Article 21. Organization of referendum commission work

Sessions of a commission for referendum is legitimate if not less than two thirds of the commission members are present. Decisions of commission are made in open voting, by the majority of votes of the present members of commission. Members of commission who disagree with its decision have right to express their opinion in written form, which is attached to the protocol. In case of votes are even the decision of the chairman is decisive.

Decision of referendum commission, passed in framework of its authority is obligatory for subordinated commissions, and for all state bodies, political parties, public associations, labor collectives, heads of enterprises, institutions and organizations.

State bodies and public associations, enterprises, organizations and institutions, officials are responsible to assist the commissions for referendum in implementation of their authority, and provide necessary information for their work.

Referendum Commission has right to address issues, related to preparation and conduction of referendum to state bodies, public associations, enterprises, institutions, organizations, officials who are to consider the issue and respond to them not later than  three days.

Chairman, deputy chairman, secretary or any other member of the commission, by decision of the commission can be freed from employment in period of preparation and conduction of referendum with preservation of average salary by funds provided for referendum.

Article 22. Reviewing complaints on decision of referendum commissions

Decisions of referendum commissions can be appealed by the organs of political parties and other public organizations, by local Hukumats, labor collectives, citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan to the superior referendum commissions or to the court, within ten days after the decision is made. Decisions of Central Commission for Elections and Conducting Referendums can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan within ten days after the decision. The complaint has to be considered within three days after its reception, and if less than six days are left to referendum date - immediately.

Article 23. Lists of citizens, who have the right to take part in the referendum

Lists of citizens, who have the right to take part in the referendum created, published, corrected and appealed in the same order as the lists of voters, in accordance with Articles 35, 36, 37 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On elections to Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan"

In case of simultaneous conduction of referendum and elections to Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan one list for referendum and elections is complied.

Article 24. Provision of citizens right  for participation in referendum in case of change of residence

In the period after publicizing the lists of voters for familiarization, and before the referendum day, citizens who have no possibility to be in place of residence on referendum day (being on a business trip, the medical facility or other similar reasons/excuses) have right upon presenting their passport or other identification document to demand from station commission a ballot for voting, make a decision on the issues included in the ballot and submit the ballot in sealed envelope to the station commission. The station commission makes appropriate note on this matter. The envelope is sealed in presence of citizen. The referendum station commission is responsible for security of the envelope.

Article 25. Ballot for voting

The ballot for voting includes text of the referendum issue or the draft of decision, and options of voters will - "yes" or "no"

In case of referendum conduction on different decision drafts all draft decisions proposed for referendum are printed on different color ballots, and issues are voted separately and independently.

Design and text of ballots for voting are confirmed by the Central Commission for Elections and Referendum not later than 30 days prior to the day of referendum. Central Commission for Elections and Referendum ensures the preparations of ballots and their distribution to district commissions.

Ballots for voting are printed in state language and in language spoken by the majority of population in the district.

District commission provides station commissions with ballots not later than 3 days prior to the day of referendum.

Chairman, deputy chairman or secretary of district or station commission confirms the reception or distribution of ballots by their signature.

Premises where ballots for voting are kept, are sealed and handed in for protection to structures of internal affairs.

Chapter 4

Procedure of voting and summarizing results of referendum

Article 26. Time and place for voting

Voting at referendum of the Republic of Tajikistan takes place on the day of referendum from 6:00 till 20:00 local time. Station commission informs the population on the place and time of voting not later than ten days prior to the day of referendum.

In stations formed at representation of the RT in other countries, at sanatoriums, rest homes, hospitals and other medical facilities, remote and difficult-access settlements, station commission can announce voting completed at any time if all voters included in the list already voted.

Article 27. Organization of voting

Voting is carried out in specially allocated premises, where sufficient number of equipment is available with polling booths for secret voting, place for issuance of ballots and installed ballot boxes. Ballot boxes are installed the way that voters approach them passing through the booths for secret voting.

Station commission is responsible for organization of voting, provision of secret will expression of citizens, equipping the premises and maintenance of proper order in the premises.

On the day of referendum, before beginning of voting, boxes for ballots are inspected, sealed or stamped by the chairman of station commission in presence of all members of the commission, representatives (observers), mass media present in the premises for voting.

Every citizen votes in person; proxy voting is prohibited. Ballots are issued by station commission based on the list of voters upon presenting passport or other identification document. Each citizen signs for receiving the ballot, opposite of the last name in the voters list.

Article 28. Voting procedure

Referendum ballot shall be filled by voter in a booth or in the room for secret voting. Presence of other persons while voting is prohibited. Citizens that are not capable to fill the ballot by themselves have the right to invite another person by their choice to the booth, except for members of referendum commission.

Voters shall cross out one of optional answers in the ballot: "for" or "against".

In case if there are several issues proposed for referendum simultaneously, voters fill ballots on every issue. 

The filled ballots are cast into ballot box. In case if some voters cannot attend the referendum station because of their health conditions or other reasons, by their request, the station commission organizes voting in places of their stay, and information on the case is registered in voters list.

Citizens, who are not registered in the list by some reason, are included in an attached list upon presenting identification documents.

Article 29. Count of votes

After the commission chairman states the end of voting, sealed envelopes with early voted ballots are cast into voting boxes in presence of members of station commission. Before opening the boxes, the station commission counts and cancels all unused ballots and complies protocol on that.

Boxes with ballots are opened by the station commission in presence of all members, after the commission chairman states the end of voting. It is prohibited to open boxes before the end of voting.

Based on voters’ lists, including additional lists, taking into consideration early voting application, voting at home places, the commission counts total number of citizens in the station and number of citizens issued ballots. Ballots in mobile boxes are counted separately. The number of ballots shall be compared to the number of written applications for voting at places of residence. In accordance with the number of ballots in ballot boxes, the commission determines:

number of citizens who participated in voting;

number of votes with "yes" answer on issue of referendum;

number of votes with "no" answer on issue of referendum;

number of invalid ballots

Invalid ballots are considered the ones that no options or both options are marked, as well as ballots that don’t meet the confirmed standard forms. In case the commission doubts the validity of ballots, the decision is made by the station commission, registering the amount of such cases in the protocol.

Results of voting are counted in every polling station. In case if several issues were proposed for referendum, votes are counted separately for each issue.

Article 30. Protocol on result of voting

Results of vote counting are checked, discussed at station commission meeting and registered in protocol that is complied in two copies.

The protocol is filled in ink or ballpoint pen, signed by all members of station commission, and stamped.

The first copy of the protocol is submitted to district commission, and second one is kept in station commission.

District commission, based on protocols of station commissions, sums up the results, checks them up, and, after discussion, complies summary protocol in two copies, to be signed by chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and members of commission and sealed. The first copy of protocol is sent to the Central Commission for Elections and Referendum immediately.

District and station commissions on referendum, after count of votes, submit copies of protocol and ballots under seal, including the invalid ones, to relevant Hukumats, to be stored for two months and then destroyed, unless results of referendum are not protested within that period.

Information on results of referendum in the district is published by appropriate district commission in terms set by Central Commission for Elections and Referendum. The information indicates total number of citizens included in district lists, number of citizens who participated in voting, number of “yes” and “no” answers for each of issues proposed for referendum, and number of invalid ballots.

Article 31. Summarizing results of referendum

The Central Commission for Elections and Referendum, based on protocols of district commissions for referendum, determines:

number of citizens who have a right for participating in referendum;

number of citizens who are issued ballots

number of citizens who participated in voting;

number of votes with "yes" answer on issue of referendum;

number of votes with "no" answer on issue of referendum;

number of invalid ballots

Referendum is considered to have not taken place if less than half of citizens of the republic who have suffrage took part in voting. In this case, referendum on the same issue can be conducted again not earlier than in two years.

Decisions on issues proposed for referendum is considered adopted, including those on changes and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, if more than half of citizens of the Republic that took part in referendum voted for adopting the changes.

In case the referendum proposed alternative solutions, and none of them received required number of votes, then all alternatives are considered rejected, and their repeated proposing for referendum can be made not earlier than in one year.

Results of referendum can be considered invalid if in process of voting or while counting votes violations of the present Constitutional Law took place that influenced the result of voting. In case of revealing such violations results of the referendum can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan within one month.

In case the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan finds results of the referendum invalid, in accordance with the determined order of the present Constitutional Law repeat referendum is conducted within two months.

Article 32. Publishing and coming to force of the decision, adopted in referendum.

The Central Commission for Elections and Referendum informs population of the Republic of Tajikistan on results of referendum, through mass media, within ten days after the end of voting.

In case if results of voting in any district or station are found invalid, the Central Commission for Elections and Referendum has right to order the relevant commission to conduct repeat voting in such district or station. Decisions of the Central Commission for Elections and Referendum can be appealed to Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan within one week after the decisions are made.

Decision adopted at referendum is published not later than within seven days from the final date of voting on the issue brought up to referendum, and comes to force from the day of publishing, if the referendum decision doesn’t provide other term.

Article 33. Changing and canceling of decision made at referendum

Changing or cancellation of decision made at referendum can be done only through referendum.

Article 34. Responsibility for violations of referendum legislation

Persons who, by means of violence, deception, threats, bribery or any other way impede free expression of citizens right for participating in referendum, as well as government officials or public associations, enterprises, institutions, organizations, members of referendum commissions, who commit forgery, misrepresentation, deliberate corruption on vote counts, and violate vote secrecy, are liable in the order determined by legislation.

President of the Republic of Tajikistan

E. Rahmonov

Dushanbe, November, 4, 1995

No. 106