Roughly Speaking: Police and protests, Monday's debate, and 'Drunk History'

Ilham Aliyev

European human rights group warns on Azerbaijan constitution

A European law and human rights commission on Wednesday criticized proposed constitutional changes in Azerbaijan that would extend the president's term, a conclusion that drew an angry response from the ex-Soviet nation.

The Venice Commission, a watchdog body of constitutional law experts based in France, released a preliminary report saying that extending the presidential mandate "cannot be justified" and that other proposed legal changes would upset the balance of powers.

The commission expressed concern about a measure limiting public gatherings and said a measure giving the president power to dissolve parliament would weaken political dissent.