The incumbent Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan in the lead among possible PM candidates from the ruling party
According to a public opinion survey conducted by MPG LLC, Armenians would like to see either the incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan or the Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan as the country’s future leader. MPG LLC is a full member of the GALLUP International Association in Armenia.
In April 2018, Armenia will finally switch to the parliamentary system of government with the future prime minister, rather than the president, acting as the country’s leader. Sargsyan’s term in office expires on 9 April.
The participants in the public opinion survey were asked whom they would prefer to have as prime minister after 9 April.
The respondents’ votes were split between two candidates from the ruling party, with the incumbent prime minister gaining slightly more votes:
- Karen Karapetyan gained 27.3% of votes;
- Serzh Sargysan – 24.8%;
- Defense Minister Vighen Sargsyan – 8.1%;
- 2% said there aren’t any suitable candidates.
The survey showed that President Sargsyan has a reputation as a leader capable of solving domestic and foreign policy issues, while PM Karapetyan is viewed as a ‘manager’ good at solving socio-economic issues.
Armen Badalyan, a political strategist, told JAMnews there is a lack of credible survey research organizations in Armenia. In his words, all the available organizations are engaged in ‘survey-drawing’.
“Don’t trust the findings of any of the surveys conducted by those organizations. They are just political messages and nothing more. According to the survey, Serzh Sargsyan is inferior to Karen Karapetyan, but at the same time it is said that he is perceived as a leader in such important matters as the country’s security, defence and the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Karen Karapetyan, in turn, is leading in the economic sphere, which takes second place to the security issue. Thus, it is emphasized that Serzh Sargsyan solves far more important issues,” said the political strategist.
According to Badalyan, Armenians aren’t actually interested in these changes. Furthermore, under the amended Constitution, the population will no longer elect the country’s future ruler.
Under the 2015 constitutional amendments, the population shall elect the members of parliament. Afterwards, the parliamentary majority shall introduce its PM candidate. The Prime Minister – the country’s leader – shall be elected by parliament through an open ballot.