Armenia - Local government

The regional governmental structure is closely modeled after the national structure. The president appoints governors to Armenia's 11 provinces ( marzer ), including the mayor of the capital of Yerevan, which has the status of a marz . Each province has both executive and legislative bodies that control the provincial budget and businesses within the region. Regional governments do not have authority to pass laws independent of national legislation. Marzer are divided into rural and urban communities ( hamainkner ), and Yerevan is divided into 12 districts. The communities and Yerevan districts are governed by community chiefs and legislative bodies called councils of elders ( avakani ). In the cities, community chiefs hold the title of mayor. In 1997 a law on self-government was passed calling for decentralization in some areas and some fiscal independence for local governments. Elections for mayors, community chiefs, and local councils in 654 constituencies were held 20 October 2002, with a 46% voter turnout rate (an increase of close to 20% from the turnout in 1999). Local elections are held every three years. There were fewer complaints of electoral irregularities than in previous elections. The ruling Republican Party fielded the most candidates, and 18 other parties, in addition to independents, participated. The Law-Governed Country Party came in second, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation was third.

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