Armen Sarkisyan assumes office, Serzh Sargsyan steps down
Fourth Armenian president Armen Sarkisyan has taken office at a special meeting of the National Assembly (parliament) of the republic today. The third president Serzh Sargsyan stepped down and the country became a parliamentary republic.
The meeting at the Karen Demirchyan Sport and Complex Center was opened by the National Assembly speaker Ara Babloyan.
The prime minister of the republic will be elected by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia on April 17. Serzh Sargsyan will be nominated by his party for the prime-ministerial seat, being the most likely candidate. Thus, Sargsyan will continue to be the leader of the state, but in a new status. However, until the next Monday he will not have any power authority except for those given to him within the post of chairman of the ruling Republican Party Armenia.
For the first time in Armenia’s history, the head of state was elected not by the popular vote, but by MPs. Such a procedure was envisaged by the constitutional reforms of 2015, which involved Armenia’s transition from presidential to parliamentary form of government. The election was held on March 2, with 90 MPs voting for Sarkisyan, and 10 MPs voting against.