YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The position of the chairman of the parliament Committee on Science and Education–vacant since a wave of top government resignations last February–was filled Tuesday with the election of a deputy who does not represent any of the parliament factions.
The new chairman–Aram Mkrtchian–decisively defeated the other contender–Gayane Sarukhanian of women’s Shamiram party. Earlier reports said Sarukhanian was backed by the largest Yerkrapah faction. But in an interview with RFE/RL–the faction’s leader–Smbat Aivazian denied this–saying that Yerkrapah had decided not to endorse any of the candidates for the job.
Mkrtchian was until recently the deputy head of the former majority Hanrapetutyun bloc but quit the faction a month ago.