On Wednesday a decree by President Robert Kocharian made it official that Republican Party of Armenia member Defense Minister Serge Sarkisian was appointed Prime Minister, after the unfortunate death of Prime Minister Antranik Markarian, who was also the leader of the Republicans, almost two weeks ago. This action was anticipated by journalists and people on the street alike, since the two guys are bosom buddies from Karabagh and are considered to be the most affluent, powerful men in the country. Even his alleged political enemies have vowed their support.
According to what I read, the new Prime Minister has 20 days to form a cabinet, and another 20 days have to pass before the cabinet’s agenda is delivered to the National Assembly for a vote of approval (or rejection). But, the current National Assembly will not be able to approve the agenda because the elections are due to be held on May 12. On top of that, the likelihood of the agenda’s approval is also partially dependent on how many seats the Republican Party take, even though what party ends up with how many seats has already been predetermined supposedly, as everyone seems to think there will be funny business at play on election day. And besides, no one taken seriously will protest the cabinet’s agenda anyway—who’s kidding who?
But, according to the Armenian Constitution, the Prime Minister must leave office when a new National Assembly has been elected. So the former Defense Minister turned Prime Minister will most likely be reappointed Prime Minister, assuming that the deal he made with President Kocharian goes down as planned, with the Republicans owning most of the seats in the National Assembly (it most likely will turn out that way, since all the major parties have agreed to the allocated, or “elected,” number of 131 seats). Then he will have 20 more days to form a cabinet, and another 20 days to determine the cabinet’s action plan, then present it to the National Assembly for a vote. Next year, Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian will most likely be elected President of Armenia, according to common speculation.
Confused? Well don’t be. When politics is predictable, apathy abound. Supposedly we just have to take things as they are reported by the Armenian media or by word of mouth. There’s nothing else to be done except to let it happen, at least that is the vibe I have been getting. Although I have always insisted that it is up to Armenian citizens to determine which of the candidates in the elections they will support the most to serve, not the parties in power or vying for power. Let’s see what will happen in five weeks.