By Naira Nalbandian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — High-Tech Industry Minister Vahagn Khachatryan on January 31 effectively confirmed reports that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has offered him to become Armenia’s next president.
The largely ceremonial post became vacant after President Armen Sarkissian unexpectedly announced his resignation on January 22, citing a lack of constitutional powers. Sarkissian’s successor is to be elected for a seven-year term by the Armenian parliament controlled by Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party.
Pashinyan indicated on January 23 that he will replace Sarkissian by a figure loyal to him but did not name any candidates. Armenian media outlets reported over the weekend that the prime minister and his political team have decided to nominate Khachatryan.
Khachatryan did not deny the reports when he spoke with journalists. He said he meets the qualifications of the job spelled out by the Armenian constitution.
“In these circumstances I could presumably be on the list [of presidential candidates] given that I’m a member of the current government and the [ruling] political team,” he said.