Too Early To Talk About The New Speaker



Parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian announced on Wednesday his decision
to resign.

In an interview with RFE/RL~Rs Armenian service (,
Abrahamian dismissed media speculation that he was forced to quit
because of being regarded as a backer of former President Robert
Kocharian~Rs possible bid to return to power.

News of the resignation emerged after Sarkisian chaired late on Tuesday
yet another meeting of the governing body of his Republican Party
(HHK). HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov said Abrahamian accepted
the president~Rs offer to run the party~Rs campaign for the May
2012 parliamentary elections and decided to step down as speaker as
a result.

Abrahamian confirmed this. “The president proposed that I run the
pre-election campaign of the Republican Party and I find that very
important,” he told RFE/RL~Rs Armenian service.

“With this step I also want to demonstrate to fellow party members
and some politicians that I~Rm not clinging to my post,” he said.

“Since the president, the party and myself attach a great deal of
importance to the pre-election campaign, I don~Rt want to combine
these two jobs and cast a shadow on the post of National Assembly
chairman,” added the speaker.

Abrahamian already worked as the HHK~Rs and Sarkisian~Rs campaign
manager in the last national elections while being deputy prime
minister and minister for local government.

Abrahamian announced his exit from the parliament leadership the day
after the sacking of Alik Sargsian, the chief of the Armenian police,
and less than a week after the equally unexpected resignation of
Yerevan Mayor Karen Karapetian.

Davit Harutiunian, tipped by some commentators to become the next
speaker, insisted that the resignation is not the result of differences
within the Sarkisian administration. “Although we are not yet in a
pre-election situation, it is necessary to start mobilizing forces
given the fact that a fairly heated political struggle awaits us,”
he told journalists.

Asked whether he indeed will succeed Abrahamian as speaker, Harutiunian
said, “If you want to know my preferences, that post is absolutely
not part of my preferences. I am really not interested in that post.”

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