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Armenia: Parliamentary Speaker Offers To Quit

Yerevan, 11 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The speaker of Armenia's parliament, Babken Ararktsyan, tendered his resignation today.

His action came after lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a government-sponsored bill on military conscription containing a clause denying students the right to defer military service.

Ararktsyan says students in further education should not be drafted. He says the clause might lead the international community to accuse Armenia of militarism.

The bill, if enacted, would make all males who have turned 18 subject to the draft.

Parliament is due to consider Ararktsyan's resignation offer later today.

Ararktsyan is a close ally of President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who also supports the military service bill.