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Armenian constitution change headed for easy approval despite fraud problems

[JURIST] Armenian electoral officials report that nearly 64 percent of registered voters in the former Soviet republic turned out Sunday to give overwhelming support to a referendum to change the country's constitution [JURIST report] and impose stricter separation of powers between judicial, executive and legislative branches, and allow citizens to obtain dual citizenship. The measures are said to have been approved by some 93% of electors. The Council of Europe nonetheless reported allegations of "serious election abuses" [COE press release; RFE report] such as fraud and the stuffing of ballot boxes, and leaders of the opposition party National Democratic Union described the referendum as a "new stage in Armenian electoral manipulation" [RFE report]. In order to pass, at least one-third of Armenia's eligible voters must approve the measure by at least 50 percent. Armenia Liberty, an advocacy group, has updated coverage.

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