YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenia’s ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) approved Karen Karapetyan’s candidacy for prime minister on Sept. 8. RPA Deputy chair and former Minister of Education Armen Ashotyan announced the decision when speaking to reporters after a party session.
“Taking public, political, and all other signals into account, it was decided to move towards the parliamentary elections with a new government,” Ashotyan told reporters, adding that Karapetyan’s candidacy was approved unanimously. The National Assembly has yet to approve him as the new prime minister.
Karapetyan is the former head of the national gas distributing company ArmRosGazprom and served as Yerevan’s mayor from Dec. 2010 to Nov. 2011.
Addressing the Executive Body meeting of the RPA, President Serge Sarkisian said that Karapetyan was capable of leading what he called “huge wave of transformations” in the country. “We are all well aware of Mr. Karapetyan’s abilities and working methods. He is really capable of leading the huge wave of transformations in Armenia; guiding the society to new economic and political freedoms; breaking the deep-rooted stereotypes; making the economy more flexible, and so on. I am convinced Karen Karapetyan will be able to become the unique symbol of changes by his effective work. He will be able to lead all the developments by the path defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia,” read a part of Sarkissian’s speech.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan officially submitted his resignation at a government session earlier on the same day. “The [Armenian] society and the government need to unite their efforts. We need a new beginning. That is why I have decided to resign and to give our President an opportunity to form a new government. We must think about everyone’s success and give a chance to a new government,” Abrahamyan said during his formal resignation speech.
“There will be systematic changes and new rules in the game,” Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Parliamentary Faction secretary and ARF Supreme Body of Armenia member Aghvan Vardanyan told reporters earlier on Sept. 8, following Abrahamyan’s resignation.
According to Vardanyan, the government of national accord, which President Sarkisian proposed in August, would come to fruition after the upcoming parliamentary elections. While speaking to reporters, Vardanyan expressed hope that there would not be an absolute majority of political power, and that important government decisions and solutions to problems would be made through discussions and proper debates after the parliamentary system of government is implemented.