Starting in April 2018 constitutional changes will award the Prime Minister with more power than the president
Armenia is wondering who will become the Prime Minister in 2018.
Starting from April next year, a new parliamentary system will come into effect wherein the country will be managed not by the president but by the Prime Minister.
Two individuals have been actively discussed for the post. Both candidates are representatives of the ruling Republican Party: the current president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan and the current Prime Minister, Karen Karapetyan.
So far, only opinions have been put forward about their candidacy. However, the deputy chairman of the reigning party Armen Ashotyan has for the first time publicly announced that he is personally ready to nominate the current president of Armenia and the head of the party Serzh Sargsyan for the position of Prime Minister.
So far no one has officially announced public support for Karen Karapetyan’s potential candidacy.
Armen Ashotyan noted that if one takes into consideration the work that has been initiated by Serzh Sargsyan in the fields of security, foreign policy and the economy, he would be the best candidate.
Serzh Sargsyan’s presidential term will come to an end on 9 April 2018. It is namely on this day that Armenia will transfer to the parliamentary system of government.
Expert and political circles think that the prime minister will indeed be Serzh Sargsyan as he has no desire to leave politics. In 2015 constitutional changes took place in order to extend his rule. Serzh Sargsyan has held the post of president twice now at five years per term and can’t be elected for a third term.
The opposition says that in 2014, Serzh Sargsyan personally announced that he has no interest in the position of Prime Minister.
“If Serzh Sargsyan will again take up the ruling position, then he will be, in a manner of speaking, going against what he himself said,” said a member of the opposition party Yelk, Alen Simonyan.
Serzh Sargsyan recently was on the Armenia television channel on a live show and did not give a clear answer as to whether he intends to take up the position of Prime Minister and what he will do after 9 April.
“I’m not making things more difficult, I’m not making them more simple. We will all decide together and move forward from there.”
MP of the Yelk opposition bloc Mane Tandilyan commented on this:
“I am sure that it was all planned beforehand and they put together a bunch of schemes in order to show that: Serzh Sargsyan can leave, but the interests of the state demand that he remain. The fact that Serzh Sargsyan is repudiating his own words and going in search of eternal power is in line with that same authoritarian logic by which countries of the Eurasian Economic Union live, much in line with the authoritarian figures of Lukashenko, Nazarbayev and Putin.”