Armenia politicians choose president, likely paving way for all-powerful PM

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The Armenian National Assembly on Friday elected Republican Party candidate Sarkissian as the country's new president.

"The RPA is widely expected to appoint Sargsyan to be prime minister after the presidential vote".

"I want to thank all those who voted both in favor and against [me]".

Two key agreements were brokered then by the United States, France and Russian Federation, but have never been ratified by the two countries' parliaments. "I will invest my long experience and knowledge and my entire energy in properly performing the duties of Armenia's president and properly serving the Republic of Armenia, its citizens and our people".

The candidacy of the 64-year-old former prime minister and former ambassador to the United Kingdom was backed by 90 lawmakers at ten against and one abstention in the 105-seat legislative assembly.

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Following the parliament voter Sarkissian met with President Serzh Sarkisian at the presidential compound, where the president offered his congratulations to the incoming leader.

Under the new Constitution the President is elected for a term of seven years. Many Armenians accuse the government of corruption and mishandling the economy.

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.

Sarkissian, 64, taught physics at Yerevan State University and Cambridge University in the 1970s and 1980s. Previously, he had been Armenia's ambassador in London.

Dr. Sarkissian was the Prime Minister of Armenia from 1996 to 1997.