Armenian Parliament replaces its slain leaders

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Parliament elected a new speaker and two deputy speakers on Tuesday to fill the seats left empty after gunmen burst into the assembly's chamber and killed seven people.

Parliament elected a new speaker and two deputy speakers on Tuesday to fill the seats left empty after gunmen burst into the assembly's chamber and killed seven people.

Members of parliament elected Armen Khachatrian of the People's Party as speaker. Khachatrian, 42, was a deputy to speaker Karen Demirchian, who was shot dead by the gunmen while on the assembly's podium.

Khachatrian led a committee on foreign relations before his election as speaker Tuesday, which marked a first step in bringing the country's political life back to normal.

Khachatrian was supported by 103 out of 116 deputies in the vote.

The gunmen who stormed parliament last Wednesday are in jail and were charged with the murders on Monday.

Three days of mourning followed the shooting, which galvanized and shocked this small nation. Some 15,000 people paid their respects to the victims at a funeral on Sunday.

On Monday, security officials offered to resign for failing to prevent the spasm of violence, but President Robert Kocharian has not yet decided if he will accept the resignations.

Kocharian has also not appointed a replacement for Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian and other slain Cabinet members.

Parliament also voted in two new deputy speakers Tuesday to replace Yuri Bakhshian and Ruben Miroian, who were both killed in the attack.

Tigran Torosyan, of the Republican Party, and Gagik Aslanyan of the People's Party both won by large majorities.

Comments