By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Parliament speaker Tigran Torosian on Monday brushed aside growing speculation about his impending replacement by another leading member of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
Recent reports in the pro-opposition Armenian press said that Hovik Abrahamian, the influential chief of President Serzh Sarkisian’s staff, will soon become the new chairman of the government-controlled National Assembly as part of a reshuffle planned by the head of state. According to them, Abrahamian, who is not a parliament deputy, will be elected as speaker after securing a parliament seat currently held by his brother Henrik.
The latter stoked the speculation by resigning from the parliament last week. The Central Election Commission promptly scheduled a by-election for late August in his constituency covering the southern town of Artashat and nearby villages. The Abrahamians live in the area and dominate its political and economic life.
Speaking to journalists, Torosian ruled out the possibility of his resignation and dismissed rumors that he will be given another high-level government job. “I don’t and will never enter into haggling or deals with anyone,” he said.