YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–National Assembly Speaker Babken Ararktsian submitted his resignation during the Wednesday session of Parliament. Following a ten minute break–the National Assembly declined Ararktsian’s resignation.
However–the Speaker insisted on putting the issue to a second vote. In the second vote–Ararktsian’s resignation was accepted by an overwhelming majority.
As a result of Speaker Ararktsian’s resignation–Prime Minister Robert Kocharian will serve as acting president until extraordinary presidential elections are held within the next 40 days.
Under the Armenian Constitution–in the case of a president’s resignation or illness–the powers of the president are to be exercised by the Speaker of the National Assembly until presidential elections are held within the following 40 days. If the Speaker is unable to do so–presidential duties lie with the Prime Minister.
The ensuing request for resignation by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Ara Sahakian was also accepted.
Earlier in the session–Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation was approved by an overwhelming majority.
The National Assembly also accepted the resignations of the Chairman of the Committee for Science–Education and Youth–Ter-Hussik Lazarian; Chairman of the Committee for Defense–National Security and Internal Affairs–Samvel Gevorgian; and Chairman of the Committee for State and Legal Issues–Vigen Khachatrian. All resigning chairpersons were members of the Hanrapetutiun bloc.
The National Assembly session also elected Kocharian advisor Khosrov Harutiunian as its new speaker.
Harutiunian was nominated by Yerkrapah caucus chairperson Albert Bazeyan.