Putin congratulates Sarkissian on being elected Armenian president

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With Ruling Party of Armenia, which nominated Sarkissian, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Tsarukian bloc endorsing his candidacy, Armenia's next president was named in a vote of 90 to 10. The president was previously selected through a direct popular vote by the public.

"I want to thank those who voted for me and those who voted against me", he said.

Armen Sarkissian will be sworn in on April 9 immediately after Serzh Sarkisian completes his second and final term in office.

"Dear Mr. Sarkissian, I sincerely congratulate you on your election as Armenia's President".

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Sarkissian succeeds Serzh Sarksyan, who opposition leaders say could now become prime minister. The power in the country will be concentrated in the hands of the legislature and the government, while the functions of the president will be representational.

Ninety lawmakers voted in favor of the 64-year-old Sarkissian, a former prime minister and now the country's ambassador to the United Kingdom; 10 voted against; and one lawmaker abstained.

Earlier, Armenian media intensively discussed the authorities' decision to hold government meetings behind the closed doors, what obviously enables Sargsyan to fully establish unlimited personal rule over Armenia.

Sarkissian, 64, taught physics at Yerevan State University and Cambridge University in the 1970s and 1980s.

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In October 1991, Dr. Sarkissian established the first Armenian Embassy in the West in London.

Sarkissian, Armenia's ambassador to the United Kingdom, was the only candidate.

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

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