PARLIAMENT APPROVES CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFT IN SECOND READING

Armenpress

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 1, ARMENPRESS: With a vote of 98, 1 abstention
and no 'against' votes Armenian parliament has approved today in the
second reading a package of constitution amendments. The lawmaker who
abstained was Manuk Gasparian. Lawmakers from opposition Ardarutyun
bloc and National Unity boycotted the voting.

President Kocharian's representative, Armen Harutunian, said unlike
the acting constitution that vests the president of the country with
sweeping powers, the amended one reserves the key role for parliament.

"The parliament will have the leading role given that political
forces in it would be able to organize themselves and consolidate,
but if they fail to do so the president of the country should be able
to ensure that the country remain immune from crisis," he said. The
third and final reading is expected in late September and in 40 days
the package should be put on a national referendum.