April 30, 2008

YEREVAN, April 30. /ARKA/. Armenian National Assembly passed amendments
to the law on presidents' salaries, privileges and security on Tuesday
at the second, final reading.

The amendments reduce the privileges former presidents enjoy. Armenian
Justice Minister Gevorg Danielyan, introducing the amendments to
lawmakers, said the law contradicted the Constitution - that is why
it needed amendment.

As an example of these contradictions, the minister singled out
the post of vice-president that was mentioned in the law, while the
Constitution and state legal system don't envisage such a position.

The amendments also changed the rules of setting presidential
retirement benefit.

In particular, the ex-president will receive retirement benefit equal
to 80% of his salary in office, exempting cases of impeachment.

Before that, ex-presidents were paid 75% of their salaries.

The pension is not paid to a former president, if he receives salary
higher than 80% of his salary in presidential office.

If the ex-president, at his new position, receives salary lower
than presidential, he is paid difference between former and present

Mansions are taken from former presidents, but apartment and car are
provided to them.

In their trips to other countries, former presidents will have their
travel expenses compensated twice a year.

Danielyan also said that if ex-presidents want to continue their
political career, they will be given an office with three employees.

The amended law will apply only to those ex-presidents who have left
the office after the amendment.