YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Vahagn Khachatryan, an economist and veteran politician, pledged to “spare no effort to strengthen national unity” as he was sworn in as Armenia’s new president on Sunday, March 13.
The inauguration ceremony took place at a special session of the Armenian parliament boycotted by its two opposition factions.
After 2015 amendments in Armenia constitution transforming it into a parliamentary republic the country president has largely ceremonial powers. Still, the president is considered to be the head of state.
Khachatryan was nominated for presidency by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s ruling Civil Contract party after a sudden resignation in January by Armen Sarkissian, who had occupied the post of the country president since 2018.
Civil Contract’s faction in parliament later installed Khachatryan as president in a two-round vote boycotted by the opposition Hayastan and Pativ Unem factions.
In his speech Khachatryan acknowledged that he was assuming office at a pivotal time for Armenia amid “complicated regional and international challenges.”