By Ruzanna Stepanian
Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian has been officially admitted to the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), it was announced on Tuesday.
An HHK spokesman, Artak Zakarian, told RFE/RL that the decision to accept Sarkisian’s membership application, widely seen as a mere formality, was made by the party’s governing council headed by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. “Serzh Sarkisian does not hold any positions in the party for the time being,” said Zakarian. “His status will be determined at the party’s congress [scheduled for Saturday.]”
According to some press reports, Sarkisian will be elected as the HHK’s deputy chairman or will co-head the party along with Markarian.
Sarkisian confirmed on Friday that he has decided to form a far-reaching political alliance with Armenia’s largest and most influential governing party -- a move which political observers attribute to his ambition to succeed President Robert Kocharian in 2008. He admitted that he will strive for the HHK’s victory in next year’s parliamentary election because he believes it is vital for the success of his presidential run.