YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Former Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan has ended his membership in former President Serzh Sargsyan’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), it emerged on Tuesday, December 18.
A senior HHK official, Ruben Tadevosian, said that Karapetyan submitted a written notification to the party leadership several days ago. He gave no reason for his decision, Tadevosian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
Karapetyan already resigned as the HHK’s first deputy chairman in late June, more than one month after Armenia’s former government was ousted in what is widely referred to as a “Velvet Revolution.”
The 55-year-old technocrat took up the number-two position in the HHK hierarchy shortly Sargsyan appointed him as prime minister in September 2016. He ran the government until Sargsyan served out his final presidential term and controversially became prime minister on April 17.
Karapetyan remained in government as first deputy prime minister serving under a new, parliamentary system of government. The former business executive took over as acting prime minister on April 23 immediately after Sargsyan resigned amid mass protests against his continued rule.
The HHK-controlled parliament reluctantly chose the protest leader, Nikol Pashinyan, as the country’s new leader on May 8. Karapetyan has made no public statements since then. It is thus not clear whether he could again engage in political activities in Armenia.