Armenia’s ruling party nominates its presidential candidate
Armenian authorities are going to nominate Armen Sarkissian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the UK, as a candidate for President of Armenia.
In Soviet times (1984-1985 and 1989-1991) Armen Sarkissian was a research fellow and a faculty member at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Mathematics. In 1996 he became the fifth Prime Minister of Armenia, though he held this post for only four months.
The presidential elections which are scheduled for March this year will be different from previous ones in the following aspects:
- Following constitutional amendments Armenia has switched to the parliamentary system of government. This means that the country will be led by the prime-minister rather than by the president. The president will have a symbolic, representative role.
- The president will be elected by parliament, rather than by country’s citizens.
- The president will be elected for a period of seven years. He may not hold this post for more than one consecutive term.
- The presidential elections can be held in two rounds.
- The president should not hold membership in any political party.
Armen Sarkissian was nominated by the incumbent President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, whose term in office expires in April this year.
President Sargsyan met with Armen Sarkissian at his presidential residence today. He suggested that Armen Sarkissian should hold meetings with four parliamentary forces so as to win broad parliamentary support and consent.
“We wish those elections were held in a single round so that we would already have the fourth president of Armenia in early March,” said Serzh Sargsyan.
As the incumbent President pointed out, Armenia’s fourth leader should be an accomplished and charismatic person, who will be politically literate but not politicized. He should be able to organize a dialogue between different political forces and defuse tensions between various layers of the population.
Armen Sarkissian requested some time to decide. He expressed his willingness to hold meetings with the parties represented in the National Assembly, with scientific figures and intellectuals, as well as with the members of public organizations and business circles.
“If I agree to this decision following those meetings, I’ll do my best to discharge the Armenian President’s duties with dignity and meet the expectations vested by you and your fellow party members,” said Armen Sarkissian.
Experts believe that Armen Sarkissian will most likely agree to run for the president’s post and that this decision had been made long before it was publicly announced. In their opinion, the fourth president’s name is actually already know, because the presidential candidate will be approved by the parliament where Serh Sargsyan’s party holds the majority of seats.
JAMnews provided detailed coverage earlier of the situation around the would-be president in Armenia.