Yerevan, 29 October 1999 (RFE/RL) - Armenia's president today
opened talks with leading politicians to discuss the initial phases of
forming a new government. The talks come as a three-day period of mourning begins for the
prime minister and several other government officials who were assassinated
Wednesday in the parliament building.
Former prime minister Armen Darbinyan and former parliamentary
speaker Khosrov Arutyunian are considered top candidates for the post of
prime minister. No decision is expected until after the funerals for the
victims are held on Sunday. President Robert Kocharian has temporarily
assumed prime ministerial duties.
Kocharian still has not made public his decision whether or not to
accept the resignation of Interior Minister Suren Abramyan. Abramyan handed
in his resignation today after Armenia's Defense Ministry yesterday
demanded the resignations of key security officials.