Armenian Parliament Speaker Confirms Resignation

YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Artur Baghdasarian formally confirmed Monday his intention to resign by filing a related application. Addressing Parliament–he thanked his colleagues for their cooperation over the three years during which he held the second highest position in Armenia.

Baghdasarian said that he worked hard to raise the status of Parliament both inside and outside the country and succeeded in it–defending Orinats Yerkir’s three year track record in government.

"The parliament became an open body; we tried to enact numerous laws; we made sure that no schools or kindergartens are put on sale in Armenia today," he said.

Under Armenian parliament regulations–Baghdasarian has to reconfirm Monday’s application in five days and only then he will be formally relieved of his post and a replacement elected.

Two Parliament Members who remained loyal to Baghdasarian and his party Orinats Yerkir–Mher Shahgeldian–chairman of the national security and defense commission–and Gagik Mkheyan–chairman of the health and social issues commission–also announced their resignations.

Orinats Yerkir has been part of the governing coalition since 2003 when it teamed up with the Republican Party and Armenian Revolutionary Federation. It had 20 seats in the 131 seat parliament.

Baghdasarian announced that he would resign and pull Orinats Yerkir out of the governing coalition following a mass defection of businessmen-legislators from his faction.

Baghdasarian said that his decision is based on serious policy differences with the two parties remaining in government.

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