Lord Judd Says it is Early to Hold Referendum on Constitution in Chechnya

It is still early to hold the referendum on the Constitution in Chechnya, Lord Judd, rapporteur of the PACE Political Affairs Committee stated. This opinion is based on Lord Judd's conclusions after the visit to Chechnya.

On Friday, at the press-conference in Moscow, Lord Judd said that next week he would file his report with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The referendum on the Constitution of the Chechen Republic is scheduled for March 23, 2003.

It is necessary to apply all efforts so that the referendum will not turn out to be a pure formality, Judd said. It is also necessary to carry out enormous work concerning the constitution draft's introduction to citizens of Chechnya, he stressed. In order to turn the referendum into an effective event, the maximum amount of Chechen citizens should take part in it, Lord Judd underlined.

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