New Prime Minister to be Appointed Soon

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan) – Levon Ter-Petrosyan will appoint a new prime minister in the next couple of days–his spokesman Levon Zourabian said at a Monday briefing. However–he refused to report any details regarding the candidacies to that position.

Zourabian said that last week the president of Armenia had conferred

about the possible candidacy with representatives of parliamentary factions. Expressing regret over the refusal of the National Democratic Union to participate in those consultations–Zourabian said that the consultations not only focused on the prime minister issue–but–in fact–included a broad political dialogue.

"Such a dialogue is rather necessary as the society has been split after the September 25 events," Zourabian said. He said that the dialogue was started by Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian. The refusal of NDU to meet with Prime Minister Sarkissian testifies that the political party avoids any dialogue.

The presidential spokesman reported that during meetings–parliamentary factions suggested three criteria by which a new prime minister should be appointed:

1. The prime minister should be a well-known political figure to gain support from the public. "Republic" parliamentary faction and "Reforms" group were the supporters of such an approach.

2. The prime minister should be a professional.

3. The prime minister should be a representative of the opposition.

Zourabian did not specify by which of the above criteria will Ter-Petrosyan appoint a new Prime Minister.

Zourabian announced that only one faction suggested a concrete candidacy. It was the parliamentary faction of "Shamiram" women’s public political organization which suggested a candidacy of the current Mayor of Yerevan Vano Siradeghian.

The president’s spokesman’said that Ter-Petrosyan also met with non-partisan deputies. He did not rule out the possibility of new meetings–including one with a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Rouben Hakopian.

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