Dr. Armen Sarkissian

Armenian Parliament Elects Armen Sarkissian Fourth President of the Republic

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YEREVAN (parliament.am, president.am) – On March 2, Gagik Melikyan, the Chair of the Accounting Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, presented to the parliament the results of the vote for the election of the president of the Republic. One hundred and one deputies took part in the voting, and with 90 for and 10 against votes Armen Sarkissian was elected President of the Republic of Armenia for a 7-year term. This marks a change in the system of government toward a parliamentary one, with the president previously being elected by popular vote.

The 64-year-old Sarkissian was nominated in January of this year by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and endorsed by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Gagik Tsarukyan’s alliance, but rejected by the Yelk alliance. He was the only candidate for president on the ballot.

National Assembly President Ara Babloyan congratulated Sarkissian on his election.

The head of the parliament informed that under Article 127 of the Armenian Constitution and Article 49 of Constitutional Law, according to the National Assembly Rules of Procedure, the President of the Republic assumes office in the special sitting of the National Assembly which in case of a regular election is convened on the day of the conclusion of the authority of the previous President of the Republic. The special sitting will be convened on April 9. The order to hold the special sitting is established by the decision of the Council upon the recommendation of the President of the National Assembly.

Sarkissian thanked the Assembly deputies for voting, and assured them that he would serve the entire Armenian people.

President Serzh Sargsyan received Sarkissian after his election the same day, and declared: “Dear Mr. Sarkissian, I sincerely congratulate you on your election as President of the Republic of Armenia. Indeed, this is an extremely important event in the history of our people and State and, of course, a crucial milestone on the way to building parliamentary democracy. I am sure that you will do your best in the exercise of duties of the President of the Republic of Armenia. In the meantime, as I closely followed your meetings, I am convinced that everything will be fine.

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There are only forty days left before your assumption of office. During these forty days, you can fully rely on the support of my staff, all State officials. Spend your time as you would like, because those highly responsible and honorific duties stem from the best interest of our people. Once again, I cordially congratulate you.”

President-elect Sarkissian responded:

“Mr. President, let me once again thank you for your kind remarks aimed at ensuring a bright future for our homeland. As you noted, before being elected, I had time to not only think, but also to meet with our compatriots around the globe, inclusive of various leaders, individuals, political figures and representatives of Diaspora structures.

As I have already completed my tour and elected to be the next president of the Republic of Armenia, let me first of all express my gratitude to you as the third President of the Republic of Armenia, as a national hero and leader who devoted thirty years of his life to his people, from the Artsakh war up to now. And let me especially express my gratitude for the constructive work you have done throughout your presidential term.

Mr. President, I say this as an ordinary citizen of Armenia and someone who has been meeting with our compatriots for at least one and a half months and could hear these very words from many of them.

Of course, we highly value your vision and the transformations initiated in our country over the past few years, namely the transition to a new parliamentary system of governance which opens up new horizons for promoting democracy.

Armenia’s membership of the Eurasian Economic Union, its close relations and arrangements with the European Union, the participation in many new international organizations and the latest positive changes in the economy inspire confidence in the future of our country, indicating that at least my seven years of service as President of Armenia will be years of active work.

Mr. President, as I have already noted, I am ready to fully dedicate myself to the duties prescribed by the Constitution with all my heart, soul and experience and invest my knowledge in this very important cause which has had the contribution of Armenia’s first, second and third Presidents.”

Sarkissian, a physician and mathematician by training who taught physics at Cambridge University, served as the first ambassador of the independent Republic of Armenia to Great Britain in 1991, as prime minister from November 1996 to March 1997, ambassador in London again from 1997 to 1999, and ambassador a third time from 2013. He became wealthy in Great Britain from working for Western corporations.

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