Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and all 18 members of his cabinet tendered their resignations immediately after President Serzh Sarkisian’s inauguration on Tuesday.
The move stemmed from Armenia’s constitution, which requires a newly elected or reelected president to form a new government. Under the constitution, President Serzh Sarkisian must appoint a prime minister within the next 10 days. He has another 20 days to name all ministers.
Tigran Sarkisian read out the government’s collective letter of resignation at a ceremony held in the presidential palace in Yerevan. “Mr. President, working with you has been a great honor for us,” he said in the presence of the ministers. “Of course, we have had difficult days, we have had not only successes but also mistakes and failings.”
Serzh Sarkisian responded by thanking the cabinet for its “effective work,” saying that it has operated in a challenging environment and managed to solve “seemingly impossible objectives.” “There is no doubt that a huge number of our citizens are unhappy with our work,” he said. “But, dear colleagues, rest assured that people are unhappy not with individuals but with existing problems.”
It is still not clear whether Tigran Sarkisian and most of the current ministers will be appointed to the new government. President Sarkisian indicated last month that he is not planning sweeping personnel changes because he considers the outgoing cabinet’s economic record satisfactory.
The cabinet was formed following the May 2012 parliamentary elections controversially won by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). Fourteen of its members are affiliated with the HHK, while three others are members of the Orinats Yerkir Party led by Artur Baghdasarian, secretary of the presidential National Security Council.