Armenia votes to give president's powers to prime minister

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Posted: Dec 07, 2015 1:50 AM
Armenia votes to give president's powers to prime minister

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Early results show that Armenian voters at Sunday's referendum have supported constitutional changes that would give more powers to the prime minister and parliament at the expense of the president.

Armenia's Central Election Commission said in a statement early on Monday that 63 percent have supported the amendments that would make the president largely a figurehead.

The opposition has seen the reform as an attempt by President Serzh Sargsyan to extend his rule. Sargsyan has denied the claim, saying he has no intention of shifting into the prime minister's seat after his second term in office ends in 2018.

Sargsyan's government has promoted the constitutional changes as a step toward strengthening democracy in the former Soviet state by providing for a greater balance of powers and a stronger judicial branch.