Parliament Postpones Election of New Leadership

YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–An emergency parliament session convened Wednesday to elect a new Parliament Speaker and heads of two committees–vacated following the resignation of former Parliament Speaker Arthur Baghdasarian and the pullout of his Orinats Yerkir party from the governing coalition–decided to put off the elections until June 1.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian–widely expected to replace Baghdasarian–said to journalists that it was his decision to postpone the election. He said under the parliament statutes it is the person who chairs emergency session who decides the order in which issues on the agenda are considered.

Torosian–who is affiliated with Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s Republican Party (HHK)–did not deny that he is Baghdasarian’s most likely successor. He said he will consider his new job as "yet another duty."

On Monday–Baghdasarian formally ceased to perform his duties–reaffirming his decision to step down.

"In accordance with the National Assembly statutes–I am relinquishing the duties of National Assembly chairman," he told reporters in the halls of Parliament.

Baghdasarian refused to answer any questions–saying that he wants to "leave in peace."

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