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Former Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian, who has left the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) after falling out with President Serzh Sarkisian, will not stand in the upcoming parliamentary elections, his son said on Thursday.

Abrahamian quit the HHK last month more than four months after he was sacked as prime minister. More than a dozen HHK figures in his native Ararat province, including the provincial governor, followed suit later in January.

Sarkisian launched a thinly veiled attack on Abrahamian on January 26. The ex-premier hit back at the president the following day, provoking a stern rebuke from an HHK spokesman.

Abrahamian’s son Argam, who is the mayor of the provincial capital Artashat, confirmed on Thursday that he will run for the parliament as a candidate of a new bloc set up by businessman Gagik Tsarukian. But he said his father will not join the parliamentary race.

Argam Abrahamian, who is married to one of Tsarukian’s daughters, would not be drawn on his chances of defeating HHK candidates in an Ararat constituency. “Whoever is trusted by people will win,” the 30-year-old told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

The Abrahamian family has long dominated the political and economic life in Ararat. Hovik Abrahamian was one of the HHK’s most influential members even before becoming prime minister in 2014. HHK representatives say his exit will not reflect negatively on the ruling party’s performance in the elections scheduled for April 2.

In a January 25 statement, the ex-premier said he “will continue to actively engage in politics.”

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