Will Karapetyan remove Sargsyan from power?
In the new year, Armenia’s political spring kicks off in the middle of winter - on January 15 - as the National Assembly (parliament) starts working next week already, and since February the country proceeds to the parliamentary system. In the near future, on April 9-16, the elections of the president and the prime minister will be held in the parliament, and this seemingly simple process hides interesting intrigues that can lead to an unexpected outcome, the Haikakan Zhamanak newspaper writes.
"The 15th Prime Minister and the 4th President of Armenia will be elected, but there is nothing more to do for the ordinary citizens in these elections.The president chosen by the parliament will take office on April 9, 2018, and from this moment, Serzh Sargsyan's powers will be terminated, and the government led by Karen Karapetyan will resign. According to the Constitution adopted in 2015, presidential elections in the last 10 days of February will be as follows: 1/4 of the deputies will nominate a candidate for president, and if he receives the votes of 3/4 of the deputies - equivalent to 75% - then he will be considered elected. If no candidate receives such a number of votes, the second round of elections should be held. In this round, the candidate will need 3/5 of the deputy votes, which is equivalent to 60%. If the president is not elected in this tour as well, a third round will be held, where only two candidates who received the largest number of votes in the second round will compete, and the winner will be the one who gets the most votes. In the first decade of March, the parliament has to announce his name. He will lead the parliamentary country for 7 years.
Then, on April 9-16, the parliamentary factions, according to the requirements of Chapter 6 of the Constitution, must submit their candidates for the post of prime minister, then the parliamentarians have to choose him. This requires more than a half of the deputy votes, and if none of the candidates succeeds in obtaining this number, then after the seventh day after the first election, the repeat elections will be held with new candidates. In this case, a candidate for the post of prime minister will be nominated by 1/3 of the deputies. If the prime minister is not elected in this tour, then, according to part 3 of Article 149 of Chapter 6 of the Constitution, the Armenian parliament must be dissolved within 7 days. This will be a consequence of the political crisis, which will point to the contradictions within the political forces and especially the parliamentary majority of Armenia," the newspaper writes.
According to a deputy from the RPA faction, Rustam Muradkhanyan, there will be no political crisis, as one political team has 58 deputies plus 7 deputies- political partners. "But we do not yet know about the positions of other political forces: they will become clear after the nomination of candidates. Even if there are no other like-minded people, there are 65 voices for sure, and within this political team, there are no tendencies to contradictions, therefore, a crisis cannot arise, Muradkhanyan reassured.
But a deputy from the Tsarukyan faction, vice speaker of the parliament Mikael Melkumyan considered such comments somewhat premature, although he also noted that the RPA is the majority. A member of the Yelk faction, Gevorg Gorgisyan, agrees with him: "Disagreements in the RPA are impossible, they have an absolute majority. We have not yet witnessed a split among the Republicans," Gorgisyan said.
There is another curious aspect: if a political crisis happens, the prime minister is not elected and the parliament resigns, the acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan will remain the prime minister. Of course, due to the distribution of the political forces in the parliament, the RPA has a majority, and at first glance, it can be assumed that the party will settle this issue solely. However, recall, that recently the party expressed rather a positive opinion about one of the possible candidates for the post of prime minister in 2018 from the Republican Party of Armenia - Karen Karapetyan. It turns out that the prospect for Serzh Sargsyan to become the prime minister is under threat to some extent, albeit with the slightest probability. That is, if there is a problem with the mutual understanding within the RPA, the long-term program of Serzh Sargsyan will be failed. Therefore, he probably should not miss the opportunity to ‘caress’ the members of the RPA in the parliament, given Prime Minister Karapetyan’s statement that he is ready to continue his work as the prime minister after 2018. Just one small thing is lacking - does Karapetyan have a desire and opportunity to sow discord within the RPA?
By the way, the newly elected president appoints the prime minister elected by the parliament. According to the Constitution, the new prime minister must nominate candidates for the posts of vice-premiers and ministers within five days, and the president must approve their candidacies within three days. 15 days after the election of the Prime Minister, the new government of Armenia will be fully formed. The number of vice-premiers cannot exceed three, and ministers - 18.