YEREVAN. – Opposition Heritage Party Chairman and former FM Raffi Hovannisian, who is also board member of the “New Armenia” Public Salvation Front which fights against the proposed constitutional amendments in the country, on Sunday demonstratively ripped the envelope with the ballot and cast it in the ballot box in his election precinct in capital city Yerevan, and stated: “For the Republic of Armenia.”
Hovannisian told the reporters on location that he has done this because there was no unity among the opposition, and this unity was not formed also in their protest against the proposed constitutional amendments.
The opposition leader added, however, that he has decided not to impose upon the will of the citizenry, and therefore the people are free to express their rejection of the ruling regime in the way they wish to.
“I decided to come [to the election precinct] and just express my protest for the sake of the future of our republic,” Raffi Hovannisian stated.
The referendum on Armenia’s constitutional amendments is conducted on Sunday.
A total of 1,988 election precincts have opened throughout the country.
Following the independence of Armenia in 1991, the Constitution was adopted on July 5, 1995, which is marked as Constitution Day.
The Constitution was amended in 2005, and the country switched from a presidential to a semi-presidential system of governance.
And pursuant to the currently proposed amendments, the country will make a transition from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary system of governance, and conduct completely proportional parliamentary elections.
The opponents of these amendments, however, consider them to be primarily the authorities’ attempt to hang on to power.