YEREVAN (Armradio)–Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan was officially nominated as the Republican Party’s official candidate for the presidency Saturday during the party’s 11th Congress. He was also elected the President of the Republican Party. Up until now Serge Sargsyan was the Chairman of the party’s board.
With Sarkisian long seen as President Robert Kocharian’s preferred successor, the four-hour congress was expected to be a mere formality. As was the case during the previous party gatherings, there were no discussions on key issues facing Armenia and the party’s electoral strategy and tactics. The only visible novelty this time around was the presence of shapely fashion models who helped 650 or so delegates find their seats in a sports arena in Yerevan that served as the congress venue.
During his speech, Sarkisian acknowledged that bribery, nepotism and other corrupt practices are widespread in Armenia. He indicated that if elected president, he will make sure that businessmen and other wealthy individuals close to the government do not get away with enriching themselves by illegal means.
The Armenian premier himself has long been accused by many of sponsoring government-connected entrepreneurs who enjoy de facto monopoly on lucrative forms of economic activity. Most of the so-called “oligarchs” are now affiliated with the Republican party..