Armen Sargsyan is far from Armenian issues
Presidential elections in Armenia will be held on March 2. According to new constitution, which implies transition from presidential to parliamentary form of government, fourth president of the country will be elected by the National Assembly. Naturally, the most important role here is played by position of the parliamentary majority. On January 18, during the meeting of governing body of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), candidacy of Armenian ambassador to Great Britain Armen Sargsyan was proposed by President and leader of the RPA Serzh Sargsyan. It received unanimous approval. The latter asked for time to make final decision.
Armen Sargsyan's candidature caused a restrained but critical reaction in political and expert community. For many years he worked as ambassador in London. In 1996-1997 he was a head of government for four months.
Since parliamentary opposition - Yelk and Tsarukyan' blocs - avoided to give their opinion on his candidacy so far (perhaps because Sarkissian has not given final consent yet), some extra-parliamentary opposition forces don't feel restricted in such conditions.
According to Levon Zurabyan, vice-president of the Armenian National Congress party, everything is decided by Serzh Sargsyan and the RPA, and it's clear that whoever is elected as President, in this system, he will be nothing more than a puppet, controlled by Serzh Sargsyan.
Former chief adviser to Armenian President on national security (1991-1993) Ashot Manucharyan said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza: "Armenia has never ruled from Bagramyan, 26 (presidential residence) .Our country was ruled either from Freedom Square by people, or by external forces. That's overall situation."
Manucharyan called Armen Sargsyan a talented man who disappeared from Armenia for a long time: "And now he appears once again, after participating in various cunning projects around the world." In particular, according to him, Britain, as one of the pillars of the current world order, was concerned about the spread of Eurasianism philosophy in Russia, which could consolidate and strengthen Russian society. "Suddenly, in that difficult and troubled time, Armen Sargsyan is in Kazakhstan, where he, together with Nazarbayev's daughter Dariga, announced the beginning of Eurasian movement. It was a brilliant operation of the UK - Eurasian movement or philosophy died in Russia even before it began," Ashot Manucharyan said.
Independent journalist David Petrosyan recalled that this will be the first President who was not elected by popular vote. Accordingly, his powers are extremely limited. Based on this, it can be assumed that the influence of fourth President on social and political life of Armenia will be very limited. At the same time, according to Petrosyan, there are examples in the world when Presidents of parliamentary republics, who didn't have much power, had a significant influence on public opinion. For example, former and current Presidents of Germany Gauk and Steinmeier, Czech President Zeman. According to expert, it's difficult to say whether it will be possible for Armen Sargsyan to achieve the same.
David Petrosyan also noted that Sargsyan was outside Armenia with small breaks since 1984. Expert stressed that possible presidential candidate had no relation to the Karabakh movement, he was outside of Armenia during very difficult period of the Karabakh war, and he doesn't know what this period is like. "Overall, he is far from current domestic issues of Armenia, both political and social. It's difficult to say whether he will be able to overcome this problem, since he was outside of the country for more than 30 years. He left Soviet Armenia, and now it's a completely different country," expert said.
David Petrosyan stressed that Armen Sargsyan is closely associated with international financial corporations and circles, and no one tried to hide this fact.