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‘No Decision Yet’ On New Armenian PM


Armenia - Speaker Hovik Abrahamian addresses the National Assembly in Yerevan, 21Oct2013.

Armenia - Speaker Hovik Abrahamian addresses the National Assembly in Yerevan, 21Oct2013.

President Serzh Sarkisian and his ruling Republican Party (HHK) have not yet decided who Armenia’s next prime minister will be, a leading HHK member said on Monday.

Galust Sahakian, the party’s deputy chairman and parliamentary leader, did not confirm reports that parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian is the favorite to succeed Tigran Sarkisian, who unexpectedly resigned last week. He did say, though, that he would welcome Abrahamian’s appointment to the vacant post.

“Of course I would,” Sahakian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “I would love to see any of my teammates become prime minister.”

Citing unnamed government sources, some media outlets claimed over the weekend that Abrahamian’s appointment is all but a forgone conclusion. The influential speaker did not comment on those reports.

“There is no final decision yet,” insisted Sahakian. “I think that we will again meet on Thursday and discuss this issue as well,” he said in reference to the HHK’s governing body headed by President Sarkisian.

“We want the next prime minister to be able to work with everyone and continue processes that took place during Tigran Sarkisian’s tenure,” he added. Sahakian said that Abrahamian is qualified to do this but stressed that so are other, unspecified HHK figures.

Tigran Sarkisian’s resignation followed the announcement of plans by Armenia’s four main opposition parties to hold joint rallies in support of their parliamentary motion of censure against the government. The largest of them, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), is led by Gagik Tsarukian, a wealthy businessman thought to have a warm rapport with Abrahamian. The latter’s son is married to one of Tsarukian’s daughters.

Abrahamian met with Tsarukian on Friday, the day after the surprise resignation. No details of the meeting were made public.
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