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Armenian parliament secretly voting for a new president

The Armenian National Assembly (parliament) has started a secret ballot procedure to elect a new president of the country.

Several dozen people gathered in front of the parliamentary building, who are carrying Armenian national flags and a black mourning flag and a banner saying “President should be elected by the people,” Arminfo reports.

As EADaily reported earlier, on March 2, the Armenian parliament is to elect a new president. The only candidate is Armen Sargsyan, 65, Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, who served as prime minister in 1996-97.

Sargsyan was proposed by the ruling Republican Party and the Dashnaktsutyun Armenian Revolutionary Federation. 65 MPs supported the nomination. The Tsarukyan opposition party which is second largest in the parliament announced that it would support the candidate nominated by the ruling party. Another opposition party, Yelq (nine MPs), said it would not support the candidate.

A candidate needs at least 79 from 105 votes to become president.

The term of the current president, Serzh Sargsyan, is to end on April 9. After that Armenia will switch to the parliamentary republic, the prime minister becomes the key figure in the country, while the president will be fulfilling symbolic functions.

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