Piatok, 13. december, 2019 | Meniny má Lucia

Armenian President, Speaker Quit as Crisis Grows

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenia`s parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the resignations of President Levon Ter-Petrosyan and the chamber`s speaker, next in line to be head of state in the tiny ex-Soviet republic. Deputies voted 111 for and 36 ...

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenia`s parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the resignations of President Levon Ter-Petrosyan and the chamber`s speaker, next in line to be head of state in the tiny ex-Soviet republic. Deputies voted 111 for and 36 against the motion to confirm the president`s decision on Tuesday to stand down in a growing political crisis over the contested enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. There were three abstentions and 16 deputies were not present. Soon after, deputies voted to accept the resignation of speaker Babken Ararktsyan by a similarly wide margin. "We came to power as a team, struggled together for our ideas, many of which were realised," Ararktsyan told Reuters at the parliament building in the Armenian capital, where the streets were quiet despite the turmoil in the chamber. Noting he had hitherto enjoyed majority support in parliament, Ararktsyan said: "I don`t want to support the policy of a different majority." He told parliament he would quit his mandate as a parliamentarian if the chamber did not accept his resignation. Under the constitution, the next in line to be acting president after the speaker is Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan, previously the leader in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous area of Azerbaijan populated by ethnic Armenians. A fresh presidential election must be held within 40 days. Kocharyan fell out with Ter-Petrosyan when the president switched tack late last year to urge concessions to Azerbaijan in the dispute. Ter-Petrosyan`s change of policy, intended to help shore up his Caucasus nation`s improved but still creaking economy, was welcomed by Azeri leaders but condemned by Karabakh Armenians and many in Armenia itself. Thousands were killed in fighting between Azeris and Karabakhis before a ceasefire held in 1994, but a lasting settlement has not been reached.

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