YEREVAN — Armenia held a referendum Sunday on proposed constitutional changes that would give more powers to the prime minister and parliament at the expense of the president, who would become largely a figurehead.
According to preliminary results by Armenia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) 63.5 percent voted in favor of the changes. The CEC said that results from 1997 polling station show that 825,851 people voted for and 421,600 people voted against constitutional reforms.
The vote results were rejected as fraudulent by Armenian opposition groups that have campaigned against the controversial constitutional reform. They alleged serious irregularities in and outside many polling stations throughout the day. They claimed that the official voter turnout was not compatible with the country’s demography.
The CEC challenged the opposition to present documentary evidence of fraud in writing as hundreds of opposition supporters rallied on Sunday night near the commission’s offices in downtown Yerevan.
Sunday’s referendum took place two months after it was approved by Armenia’s parliament in a 104-10 vote, with three abstentions.