YEREVAN (Arka)—Galust Sahakian, a veteran member of the governing Republican Party of Armenia, was elected Tuesday as the new speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia.
Sahakian is well known for his ascetic life style, claiming that he happily lives in a cabin and that he knows little to nothing about running a business. This is in stark contrast to many high level officials in Armenia who often have very strong ties to business and are typically known to lead lavish lifestyles.
The post for speaker of parliament – the third most powerful office in Armenia — was also contended by former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratian from the opposition Armenian National Congress, who was a self-nominated candidate.
Galust Sahakian was backed by 101 deputies of the 131-member parliament. Bagratian was endorsed by three deputies. Two ballots were invalidated.
The National Assembly speaker is elected by secret ballot. To be elected, a candidate must receive a simple majority of votes.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia controls 70 seats in the legislature. Galust Sahakian replaces Hovik Abrahamian, who was nominated on April 13 by the president as Armenia’s new prime minister.