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Armenians Want Elections to Choose Governors

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in Armenia believe their regional heads of government should be selected through the ballot box, according to a poll by the Armenian Center for National and International Studies. 63.5 per cent of respondents say they would like to elect their regional governor.

Armenia adopted its Constitution in July 1995. The document was ratified in a referendum—deemed to have been fraudulent—and confers virtually unrestrained powers on the president.

President Robert Kocharyan was re-elected to a new four-year term in March 2003 in an election marred by fraud allegations. Armenia is divided into 11 provinces. The provincial governors are appointed by the head of state.

Under the current system, regional elections are limited to prefects and aldermen. Each provincial governor retains the right to dismiss elected officials. 36.7 per cent of respondents believe an elected governor would be more accountable to the people, and 13 per cent think he would be more interested in solving regional problems.

A nationwide referendum on proposed constitutional changes has been scheduled for Nov. 27. The reform package would seek a balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. At least one-third of Armenia’s 2.4 million eligible voters must support the amendments.

Polling Data

Would you like to elect your regional governor?

Yes
63.5%

No
10.4%

Difficult to answer
26.1%

If you elect the regional governor, then…

In the first place he would be
accountable to the people
36.7%

He would have more independence in
solving the problems of the region
12.5%

He would be more interested in solving
the problems of the region
13.0%

Nothing would change
15.2%

Difficult to answer
22.6%

Source: Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS)

Methodology: Interviews with 1,000 Armenian adults, conducted in September 2005. No margin of error was provided.

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