National Assembly Discusses Amendmen’s to Election Law

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A special meeting of the National Assembly was called on the initiative of the "Yerkrapah" deputy group Tuesday.

Out of the five issues on the agenda the Parliament discussed the bill "On making amendmen’s to the Election Law" and began to discuss the bill "On making amendmen’s to the Law on Local Government Bodies."

Gagik Minassian reported on the first bill and said that the proposed amendmen’s are aimed at revising the law. In particular–he suggested that the number of signatures in nominating candidates by the majority election system should be decreased from 2,000 to 1,000. Only state-owned mass media can create equal conditions for publishing campaign items in favor of mandates and parties. It was also suggested that the powers of the Central Election Committee should be more specified–including those related to drawing up lists of voters temporarily residing abroad and rejecting the party lists or nominees included in these lists.

Some of the members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for State and Legal Issues proposed making amendmen’s to the "Law on Local Government Bodies." The Committee chairman and reporter–Artur Baghdasarian pointed out that the amendmen’s proposed are the result of the Committee meetings. The main goal of about 30 amendmen’s is to specify the powers of the Councils of Elders and community leaders as well as the relations between heads of regional administrations and community leaders. The bill suggests the following provision: "The head of the regional administration can call to account by administrative means the community leader for violations committed in exercising the powers entrusted o him by the state." It is also suggested that wages be paid to members of the Councils of Elders and communal officials from the community budgets. The wages should not exceed 80 percent of those of community leaders. Another amendment suggests that expenses should be incurred from the communal funds for the current needs of the community. The expenses shouldn’t exceed 2 percent of the communal budget.

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