Voters support Parliamentary Republic in referendum


Armenian voters voted yesterday to turn the country into a parliamentary republic whilst reducing the powers of the president. In future the president will be elected indirectly by parliament rather than by the people. Presidential powers will be reduced to a largely ceremonial role and the term will be extended from five to seven years.

The referendum was opposed by a number of opposition parties because they said it was a ploy by President Serzh Sargsyan to remain in power. The president will complete his second term in office at the end of 2018 and critics suggest that he will then stand as prime minister, the role of which will now take up most of the former presidential powers.

Result from 1997 polling stations give a turnout of 50.77% with 63.35% voting for and 32.35% voting against. For the reform to be passed 25% of the total number of voters needed to support the reform.

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