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Armenia: Kocharyan Appoints Darbinyan As New Prime Minister

Yerevan, April 10 (RFE/RL) -- The press service of newly elected Armenian President Robert Kocharyan says the president today signed an order appointing finance and economy minister Armen Darbinyan as prime minister. The appointment does not need approval from the parliament. But Darbinyan must name a cabinet and submit an economic program to the legislature within 20 days. The parliament must then vote on a confidence motion in Darbinyan's government and its program. If that vote fails, Kocharyan must name a new prime minister.

Darbinyan is known as a pro-Western reformer who supports radical market reforms and a quicker pace of privatization. He has been the finance and economy minister since last May. Before that, he had been a deputy chairman of Armenia's central bank for more than three years.

Kocharyan won Armenia's presidential elections two weeks ago and was sworn in yesterday.