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On 26 September a referendum was held in Azerbaijan on draft amendments to the constitution. According to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's ad hoc assessment mission initial findings a majority of citizens voted in favour of all 29 questions put to referendum, in a peaceful atmosphere. Some shortcomings were noted, however, in the process, notably as regards prior debate in Parliament, while some activists were also detained during the campaign.
Considering this as well as the concerns raised by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission in last week's preliminary opinion on the constitutional amendments, the European Union invites Azerbaijan to take account of the Venice Commission's findings during the process of implementation of the draft constitutional amendments. The European Union will remain engaged in dialogue with Azerbaijan as regards these and other key issues.