Galust Sahakian, the Armenian parliament speaker and a leading member of the ruling Republican Party (HHK), on Wednesday declined to deny media claims that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian is poised to resign.
Multiple reports in the Armenia press have said in recent days that President Serzh Sarkisian will replace Abrahamian by Karen Karapetian, a former Yerevan mayor currently holding a senior position in one of Russia’s largest commercial banks.
“You’ll know tomorrow if there is such a thing,” Sahakian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), commenting on those reports.
The HHK’s governing board headed by Sarkisian is scheduled to meet in Yerevan on Thursday.
Asked whether Abrahamian and members of his cabinet will indeed step down, Sahakian said: “I can’t tell.” The HHK board has not yet discussed such an issue, he added.
The Armenian speaker was also vague about the possibility of Karapetian’s appointment as prime minister. “I’ve also read [those reports,] but since the issue has not been discussed in detail in my presence, there is nothing I can say about it,” he said.
In recent weeks and months, the Armenian press has been rife with speculation that President Sarkisian will sack his prime minister and key cabinet members in a bid to address popular discontent with the socioeconomic situation in the country.
The speculation intensified after the Armenian authorities’ two-week standoff with radical opposition gunmen that seized a police station in Yerevan in July. Thousands of people demonstrated in support of the gunmen that demanded Sarkisian’s resignation.
The president has publicly given no indications, though, that a change of the government is imminent.