President Serzh Sarkisian has predicted that his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) will win next year’s parliamentary elections and remain in power for at least five more years.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency published on Monday, Sarkisian said he will retire from the political arena if the HHK is defeated in the vote expected in April 2017.
“If the party suffers a setback in the parliamentary elections, what will I have to do in politics?” he said.
Asked whether he expects an electoral defeat, he laughed, saying: “No.”
The 2017 elections will be held under Armenia’s recently amended constitution mandating the country’s transition from the presidential to parliamentary system of government. The transition will be completed when Sarkisian’s second and final term in office ends in April 2018.
Sarkisian has yet to clarify what he will do after the end of his presidency. Two years ago, he promised that he will not seek to become prime minister if he succeeds in pushing through his controversial constitutional reform. However, he pointedly declined to reaffirm that pledge on the eve of a constitutional referendum held in December 2015.