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Azerbaijani Opposition To Boycott Referendum

President Ilham Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev
BAKU -- The Azerbaijani opposition has decided to boycott a controversial national referendum on amendments to the constitution, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Hasan Kerimov, deputy chairman of the Popular Front Party, says that the united opposition group For Karabakh and Republic, of which Kerimov's party is a member, has decided it would be better to boycott the referendum than to call on people to vote against the proposed amendments.

The referendum is scheduled for March 18.

Azerbaijani authorities have touted the proposed amendments to the constitution as measures to further democratize society.

The opposition says the amendments would strengthen the powers of incumbent President Ilham Aliyev, who will be eligible for a third term if the amendments are introduced.