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Armenia votes on giving president's powers to prime minister

Armenia is holding a referendum on a proposed constitutional change that would give more powers to the prime minister and parliament at the expense of the president, who would become largely a figurehead.

   The opposition has seen the reform as an attempt by President Serzh Sargsyan to extend his rule. Sargsyan has denied the claim, saying he has no intention of shifting into the prime minister's seat after his current second term ends in 2018.

   Sargsyan's government has promoted the constitutional change as a step toward strengthening democracy in the former Soviet state.

   Sunday's referendum is taking place two months after it was approved by Armenia's parliament in a 104-10 vote.

   Under the proposed changes, the president would have largely symbolic powers and would be elected by parliament. (AP)

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