By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian has chosen the influential Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian to manage his presidential election campaign, the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) confirmed on Tuesday.
Abrahamian, who also holds the recently introduced post of deputy prime minister, was the HHK’s campaign manager in parliamentary elections held last May and is thought to have significantly contributed to its landslide victory.
The campaign was characterized by a heavy reliance on the Sarkisian-led party’s vast government and financial resources. Many heads of central and local government bodies in Armenia as well as wealthy businessmen are affiliated with the HHK. Sarkisian is widely expected to again capitalize on this fact in the presidential election scheduled for February 19.
Abrahamian is one of the most influential members of the Armenian government and has extensive business interests. He and his extensive family hold sway in the southern town of Artashat and surrounding villages.
Reports in the Armenian press have said that Abrahamian will have two deputies in his new post: the HHK’s parliamentary leader Karen Karapetian and Minister for Urban Development Vartan Vartanian. The latter is a leading member of the Prosperous Armenia Party, a junior partner in the ruling coalition.