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Parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian announcing his resignation on May 12 (Photolur)
May 22, 2006 -- The speaker of Armenia's parliament formally resigned today.
Artur Baghdasarian had announced his intention to resign earlier this month, on May 12, at the same time as his Orinats Yerkir party said it would leave the government coalition over disagreements on domestic and foreign policy.
Baghdasarian told deputies on May 22 that "there are two paths for Armenia to follow." Armenia can, he said, be "part of the union of Russia and Belarus and be on good terms with Europe, or it can be part of the European Union and be on good terms with Russia."
He said his party had chosen the second path.
He also thanked deputies of all parties, as well as President Robert Kocharian, for the work accomplished during the three years of his speakership.
The heads of two parliamentary commissions also resigned today.