Karen Karapetyan (1963)
|Karen Karapetyan (1963)|
|Birth name||Karen Vilhelmi Karapetyan|
|Name in Armenian||Կարեն Վիլհելմի Կարապետյան|
|Birth date||14 August 1964|
|Education||Yerevan State University|
|Dialects||Eastern Armenian, Karabakh Armenian|
Ex-PM Karapetian Quits Former Ruling Party
Dec 12, 2018
Former Prime Minister Karen Karapetian has ended his membership in former President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), it emerged on Tuesday.
A senior HHK official, Ruben Tadevosian, said that Karapetian submitted a corresponding written notification to the party leadership several days ago. He gave no reason for his decision, Tadevosian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
Karapetian already resigned as the HHK’s first deputy chairman in late June more than one month after Armenia’s former government was ousted in what is widely referred to as a “velvet revolution.”
The 55-year-old technocrat took up the number two position in the HHK hierarchy shortly Sarkisian appointed him as prime minister in September 2016. He ran the government until Sarkisian served out his final presidential term and controversially became prime minister on April 17.
Karapetian remained in government as first deputy prime minister serving under a new, parliamentary system of government. The former business executive took over as acting prime minister on April 23 immediately after Sarkisian resigned amid mass protests against his continued rule.
The HHK-controlled parliament reluctantly chose the protest leader, Nikol Pashinian, as the country’s new leader on May 8. Karapetian has made no public statements since then. It is thus not clear whether he could again engage in political activities in Armenia.
Russian media reported late last month that Karapetian will be appointed soon to the board of directors of a state-owned Russian oil company, Zarubezhneft.
Karapetian already lived and worked in Russia from 2011-2016, holding senior positions in local subsidiaries of the Gazprom energy giant. He managed Armenia’s Gazprom-owned natural gas distribution network from 2001-2010.
The former premier, who put forward an ambitious economic reform agenda during his tenure, announced his decision to quit the HHK following its poor showing in the December 9 parliamentary elections. The former ruling party won only 4.7 percent of the vote and will therefore have no seats in Armenia’s new parliament.
Karapetian topped the list of HHK candidates in the previous parliamentary elections held in April 2017. Sarkisian’s party won those polls amid opposition allegations of vote buying.
Yerevan Mayor Confirms Resignation
28.10.2011 Ruzanna Stepanian
Yerevan’s Mayor Karen Karapetian confirmed on Friday reports that he has decided to resign after less than one year in office.
“I have tendered my resignation,” Karapetian wrote on his Facebook page.
He attributed the unexpected decision to “personal reasons” and his “transfer to another work.”
“I took the decision with great difficulty and am stating with all responsibility that there is no subtext of political or intra-governmental disagreements as is claimed by some,” said Karapetian.
“At the same time I feel sorry for unfulfilled tasks and obligations as well as those expectations and programs which the country’s supreme leadership and the public had in connection with my tenure,” he added.
According to some newspaper reports, Karapetian, who previously managed Armenia’s national gas distribution company, received a lucrative job offer from Gazprom or another Russian energy conglomerate.
In a separate interview with the Armnews TV channel, Karapetian confirmed that he is likely to work in Russia but did not elaborate.
Announcing the mayor’s impending resignation on Thursday, the Armenian press also speculated that President Serzh Sarkisian is unhappy with Karapetian’s controversial policies that have sparked angry demonstrations by street traders and kiosk owners in the capital.
Another theory suggested by commentators is that Sarkisian regards Karapetian as a potential backer of his predecessor Robert Kocharian who is allegedly keen to resume political activities and challenge the current president.
Karapetian insisted, however, that he has enjoyed “unlimited” support from the president throughout his short tenure. He also dismissed as “absurd” media claims about his uneasy rapport with the presidential administration.
Under Armenian law, Yerevan mayors are chosen by a municipal assembly elected through universal suffrage. Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) holds the majority of seats in the Council of Elders.
Derenik Dumanian, the leader of the HHK faction in the council, claimed earlier on Friday to be unaware of the mayor’s resignation plans.
“Under the law on Yerevan, if the mayor wants to step down he has to appeal to the Council of Elders and the council will then make a decision,” Dumanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “The faction and the council have received no official application to that effect as yet.”