Vahagn Khachaturyan—the only candidate for the vacant position of the President of Armenia, the serving Minister of High-Tech Industry, and the former mayor of the capital Yerevan—was not elected President of Armenia in the first round of respective elections in the National Assembly (NA).
The chair of the NA Counting Commission, Narek Babayan, stated Thursday that 69 MPs took part in the respective voting Wednesday, there were no invalid ballots, and Khachaturyan received 69 votes in favor and none against. But it was necessary to get 81 votes to be elected in the first round.
The two opposition factions in parliament have not nominated a presidential candidate and announced that they will not partake in the NA election of the new President.
According to the Armenian Constitution, at least two-thirds of the total number of votes of the MPs, or 81 votes in favor, are needed to elect the new President of Armenia in the first round—but the NA ruling majority faction has only 71 seats. In the second round, however, the President is elected by three-fifths of the lawmakers—in this case, by 65 votes in favor—, and therefore the votes of the majority faction legislators should be enough this time.
To note, on January 23, Armen Sarkissian had announced his resignation as President of Armenia.