YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Armenian parliament has refused to approve the annual report on the fulfillment of the state budget for 2000. The decision came on Wednesday after two days of intense debates. The government-submitted report was supported by 52 votes–with 15 "against" and 20 abstentions. A minimum of 55 votes were needed for approval.
Among those who voted against the bill were–in particular–the leader of the "Right & Unity" faction Artashes Geghamian–members of the same faction Aghasi Arshakian–Alexan Karapetian–Napoleon Azizian–the leader of the parliamentary faction of the Communist Party of Armenia Hrant Voskanian and members of the faction Yura Manoukian–Gagik Manoukian–Norik Petrossian–Khoren Sargsian–members of the ARF faction Kim Balayan–Vahan Hovhannissian–independent deputies Arshak Sadoyan and Hmayak Hovhannissian.
Under article 144 of the National Assembly’s Regulations–if the report is not approved by vote–the issue of no confidence in the government is automatically raised. The draft resolution on no confidence in the government may be presented with signatures of at least a third of the total number of members of parliament (44) within 24 hours after the initiation of the move. A special meeting of parliament is convened to discuss the issue. If no issue of the vote of no confidence is raised or no such decision is made the annual report on state budget fulfillment would be considered approved.