The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) said on Tuesday it will hold discussions with President Serzh Sarkisian soon on who will be Armenia’s prime minister after his decade-long presidency ends next April.
Dashnaktsutyun is a junior partner in Sarkisian’s coalition government, having held three ministerial posts for more than a year. It extended its power-sharing deal with Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) following parliamentary elections held in April.
“Naturally, the question of who will be prime minister is important to Dashnaktsutyun, but there is still time [left before April 2018,]” said Aghvan Vartanian, a Dashnaktsutyun leader.
“In my view, the challenges facing the country have two main components,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “One of them is security, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and the like, while the other the economy … I think that there is enough room here for every person willing to serve the country.”
“Also, our coalition agreement makes it clear that the Republican Party has the exclusive right to nominate the prime minister’s candidacy. This issue will be discussed when the time is right,” added Vartanian.
In televised remarks aired over the weekend, Sarkisian again declined to clarify whether he plans to become prime minister or replace Prime Minister Karen Karapetian by someone else after serving out his final presidential term. But he praised economic policies pursued by Karapetian’s cabinet.
Vartanian said that Dashnaktsutyun is also “satisfied” with the current government’s track record so far. “Quite a bit of things have already been done in terms of both security and socioeconomic issues,” he said.
The veteran politician spoke the day after a joint meeting of Dashnaktsutyun’s worldwide Bureau and governing body in Armenia held in Yerevan. The meeting adopted a statement which is due to be publicized on Wednesday.
Dashnaktsutyun controls 7 seats in Armenia’s 105-member parliament, compared with 58 seats held by the HHK.