Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sargsyan's Health Treatment and Armenia's Succession

Like Uzbekistan, Armenia might also be witnessing a factional struggle over a future presidential succession.  As reported by IWPR, when President Serzh Sargsyan (Sarkisian) went to South Korea on what was announced as a vacation, he was actually undergoing medical treatment, something that was leaked to the press last month and has now been confirmed by the presidential spokesperson.  Some possibly related events:
Shahnazaryan notes that on returning home, the president sacked Armen Sargsyan, who is the ambassador in Seoul and also a brother of Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, as well as Romik Harutyunyan, deputy head of the National Security Service. There have been no official explanations of the dismissals.
Armen Badalyan, an analyst with the Centre for Political Studies, suspects the leak has do with the increasingly bitter battle for succession, led by former president Robert Kocharyan...
At the next election in 2018, Sargsyan will have to step down since presidents are constitutionally limited to two consecutive terms.
In December, Kocharyan issued strong criticisms of the government and prime minister, leading many observers to suspect he was already planning a return to the top job...
Many observers predicted that Sargsyan and Kocharyan, who fought together in the Karabakh war of the early 1990s, would attempt to replicate the model used in Russia, where Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev swapped posts as president and prime minister, but retained power between them.
The arrival of Tigran Sargsyan as prime minister derails the chances of that happening.



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