Armenian parliament chooses new president

Armenia ditches normalisation deal with Turkey

The constitutional reforms coming into effect also limit an Armenian president to a single seven-year term.

Following a referendum in December 2015, Armenia changed its form of government from a semipresidential to a parliamentary republic.

Sarkissian was nominated by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia on January 11, at which time he said that he would accept the nomination only after meeting with a broad range of political, civic leaders, as well as the population.

The Armenian parliament voted on Friday to elect Armen Sarkissian, a former prime minister who has long resided in Britain, Armenia's new and largely ceremonial president. The head of state has limited authority and is elected by the National Assembly.

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"I expect your support and participation, as well as the support and participation of all our citizens in our important future triumphs: Artsakh, Armenia, and the Diaspora", added Sarkissian.

Sarkissian, 64, taught physics at Yerevan State University and Cambridge University in the 1970s and 1980s. With Armenia switching to a parliamentary system of government, he would remain the country's most powerful man in that case.

Serzh Sargsyan is a former military officer who fought in the 1988-94 Nagorny-Karabakh War against fellow former Soviet republic-turned-arch-enemy Azerbaijan and previously served as prime minister from 2007-2008. Previously, he had been Armenia's ambassador in London. In 1995-96 he was Head of Mission of the Republic of Armenia to Europe. He served as prime minister in 1996-1997.

Dr. Sarkissian has advised the CEOs and Corporate Boards of large global companies, including BP, Alcatel, Telefonica, Finmeccanica, Bekaerd, and others.

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