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Azerbaijan Approves Longer Terms and New Powers for President

Azerbaijan has voted to extend its presidential term from five to seven years in a national referendum that is likely to further dent the oil-rich country’s democracy. The nation's Electoral Commission announced that 84 percent of voters supported the extension, one of 29 issues voted on in a ballot Monday, Azeri news agency APA reported. All 29 proposed amendments of the constitution were passed, each gathering over 80 percent in support, including extending the condemnation of expressions of hatred on racial, ethnic or religious grounds to “any other criteria whatsoever.
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