By Gayane Danielian
The newly appointed Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian indicated on Friday that he will make no changes in Armenia’s interim government and will let it operate until next month’s parliamentary elections.
“I don’t think there need to be serious changes in the composition of the government as it will work for almost 40 more days, and our key task is to ensure continuity in the government’s work,” Sarkisian said. “No changes are envisaged at the moment.”
In accordance with the Armenian constitution, all members of the current cabinet, including Sarkisian, tendered their resignation on March 26, the day after the sudden death of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. President Robert Kocharian asked them to continue to perform their duties until the formation of a new cabinet.
The constitution gives Sarkisian 20 days to select his ministers and another 20 days to submit the new government’s program to the outgoing National Assembly.
The 52-year-old premier, who has to step down immediately after the May 12 elections, said the government will “send a program to the National Assembly” but did not specify whether the legislature will debate and vote on it before completing its four-year tenure. He is widely expected to be re-appointed prime minister if his Republican Party (HHK) wins the vote.
Making his first public appearance in the new capacity, Sarkisian would not be drawn on he thinks should take up the vacant post of defense minister which he has occupied for nearly seven years. “I don’t want to make forecasts,” he told journalists after attending an annual meeting of members of Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences.