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Armenia To Hold Constitutional Referendum Next Month

President Kocharian (file photo) 4 October 2005 -- Armenian President Robert Kocharian has signed an order to hold a referendum on constitutional amendments next month.

Kocharian's office today said the vote would take place on 27 November.

The Armenian parliament passed the amendments last month.

Kocharian and his government say the changes, which are backed by the Council of Europe and the United States, aim at ensuring a stricter separation of powers among the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of power.

But the opposition claims the planned reform will play in Kocharian's hands.

Opposition lawmakers, who boycotted last month's vote, have called upon Armenians to reject the constitutional amendments.

The proposed changes would also remove a legal provision outlawing dual citizenship for millions of members of the Armenian diaspora.