President Serzh Sarkisian has not yet informed his political allies whether he wants to become prime minister or hold another senior position after serving out his final term next year, parliament speaker Galust Sahakian said on Tuesday.
Sahakian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that “nobody can tell” now what Sarkisian will do after April 2018. “I can’t tell either,” he said in an interview. “Serzh Sarkisian himself will say it in 2018.”
“I believe that Serzh Sarkisian will manage to find solutions that will enable him to stay at the forefront of general politics. But nobody can tell now whether he will be prime minister or something new will be worked out,” added the senior member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
Sahakian refused to be drawn on other potential government roles for the president. “But I think that Serzh Sarkisian must stay on till the end,” he said.
Armenia will switch to the parliamentary system of government immediately after the end of Sarkisian’s decade-long presidency in April 2018. His political opponents claim that he is intent on holding on to power. The 62-year-old president has so far not publicly ruled out the possibility of becoming prime minister.
In a March 25 speech delivered in Nagorno-Karabakh, Sarkisian said he would like to “play a role, in some capacity, in ensuring the security of our people” after April 2018. “I don’t know what that capacity will be, but I will definitely be of help in some format,” he said.