Protesters Gather in Yerevan, Claim Fraud In Armenian Referendum
(RFE/RL) – Hundreds of protesters were gathering in central Yerevan on December 7 to demonstrate against the declared results of a referendum on whether to change Armenia’s constitution – transforming the country from a presidential to a parliamentary system of government.
Armenia’s Central Election Commission says voters endorsed the constitutional amendments in a December 6 referendum.
It says 63.5 percent of the voters supported the changes proposed by President Serzh Sarkisian and that voter turnout was 50.51 percent of eligible voters.
The opposition says the changes are meant to enable Sarkisian to remain in power after his final term as president ends in 2018.
The opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has rejected the election commission’s results.
HAK official Levon Zurabian said on December 7 that the government secured the positive result through ballot-box stuffing, multiple voting, and vote buying.
Zurabian also rejected the turnout figures, maintaining that less than half of eligible voters participated.
Other opposition groups also allege serious voting irregularities.
Opposition supporters rally against the results of the constitutional referendum in Yerevan on December 7.