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 Armenia's prime minister is dead

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Registration date : 2007-01-11

PostSubject: Armenia's prime minister is dead   Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:22 am

Armenia’s Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan died of an apparent heart attack Sunday at about 1:45 p.m. Yerevan time.

The Prime Minister died in his Yerevan apartment. A source from his political party told ArmeniaNow that Margaryan has been ill for a few days, including high temperature, and that he cancelled a scheduled trip to France due to poor health.

He is survived by his wife, Susanna, two daughters, one son, and five grandchildren.

News of his death began spreading throughout the capital at around 2:30 p.m. ArmeniaNow and A1+ websites reported the news shortly before 3 p.m. Public Television H1 interrupted a variety show with the news around 3 p.m. and began broadcasting a classical music concert.

Margaryan, who was 55, was appointed Prime Minister by President Robert Kocharyan in 2000. The Prime Minister was considerably overweight, and a smoker. He suffered from heart problems, and had one heart surgery. In autumn of 2000, he suffered from a health ailment that was not publicly revealed, but was known to hamper his official duties. No word has come yet from doctors on whether his death was caused by any of those factors.

An emergency meeting of the Government is underway in Yerevan at the presidential residence. Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsyan was on his way to China, but is expected to return to Armenia.

As the nation prepares to mourn the loss of its second most powerful officer, speculation already has turned to whether the PM’s death will play a role in the May 12 parliamentary elections, and whether naming Margaryan’s successor will influence the current struggle between the Republican Party and oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan’s Prosperous Armenia party.

Margaryan was head of Armenia’s most powerful political body, the Republican Party. A source familiar with inside politics said a long-time division has existed in the party in which Margaryan led one bloc concerned with political issues, while MOD Sargsyan led the faction represented by oligarchs (i.e., clan-rule).

There is reasonable speculation that Sargsyan would be an obvious replacement. However, as the MOD is already considered the leading contender to be the next president, it seems he would have little to gain by shifting roles in the Government this near the parliamentary elections.

Politically, it is likely that a member of the Republican Party will be named – in keeping with a consensus held over from the assassinations in parliament in October 1999, when it was agreed that the PM position would be held by a Republican, and consistent with naming a PM from the majority party.
Mourning begins at the Republican Party headquarters where workers placed a black ribbon on the party flag.

While attention focuses on who will succeed Margaryan, it is assured that a new and unexpected element now becomes part of the campaign season.

Political analyst and ArmeniaNow contributor Richard Giragosian says the Prime Minister’s death “deprives an important sense of balance between the country’s rival political forces. And although the current political situation is limited to a rivalry between pro-government elites – and not between pro-government and opposition forces – Margaryan represented a largely missing factor of political stability and continuity as the country’s longest serving prime minister.”

As of this filing (6 p.m. Yerevan time) no official statement has come from the Office of the President.

However, Speaker of the Parliament and vice president of the Republican Party, Tigran Torosyan, spoke in memory of his colleague, saying: “The successes of the party and the country in recent times are connected with the name of Andranik Margaryan. He was not only a great political figure and statesman, but also a person who was always ready to listen even to his opponent, even an ordinary person, a passerby – a man who was always the embodiment of tolerance and care for people. Indeed it is a great loss for all of us . . .”

ArmeniaNow interviewed about a dozen passersby on the streets of Yerevan in the hours after the announcement of the prime minister’s death.
Some, typically, expressed bitterness toward the government in general. Others expressed sorrow. And all said they expected no positive change to come from whomever replaces Margaryan.
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PostSubject: Re: Armenia's prime minister is dead   Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:31 pm

I know... Sad It's so sad. When I give my April 24th speech... I am going to hold a moment of silence for him or atleast let the people know.....those who don't care.
You know he helped a lot during the Kharabagh war?
I think he was a good man.
And I think Armenians should cut back on the smoking. My dad is a chain smoker. He is only like 52, he is not overweight, but he has health issues. Like his chest hurts or he runs out of breath...
I have tried smoking before, and it's not healthy... it just slowly kills you Sad
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