Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and all members of his cabinet tendered their resignations on Thursday to clear the way for the formation of a new government as a result of the May 6 parliamentary elections.
Sarkisian cited relevant provisions of Armenia’s constitution as he announced the decision at a weekly cabinet meeting. “In the meantime, we are obliged to continue to perform our duties until the formation of a new government,” he told ministers.
Under the constitution, President Serzh Sarkisian has ten days to appoint a new prime minister. The new government must be formed within the following 20 days.
Tigran Sarkisian is widely expected to be reappointed as premier, even though the president and other senior members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) have made no public statements to that effect yet.
There is more uncertainty over the composition of the next cabinet. Officials have so far said only that it will consist of members of the HHK and the Orinats Yerkir, a junior partner in the outgoing ruling coalition.
Serzh Sarkisian and Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian signed a new coalition agreement late on Wednesday. The document reaffirms Orinats Yerkir’s support for the incumbent president’s reelection plans but says nothing about how many ministerial portfolios Baghdasarian’s party will now have. It has been represented in the current cabinet by three ministers.
The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the third member of the outgoing coalition, decided to not to join the new government following the parliamentary elections in which it finished second.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues for the five-year joint work. I want to wish everyone success and good health,” Urban Development Minister Vartan Vartanian, one of the four cabinet members representing the BHK, told fellow ministers.
“For my part, I want to thank our colleagues from the Prosperous Armenia Party who have carried the heavy burden of government together with us during these years,” replied Tigran Sarkisian.