Former Cambridge Professor to become candidate for Armenian President

Beatrice McCartney 21 January 2018

Armen Sarkissian, a former maths professor at Cambridge, will campaign under the Republic Party of Armenia as a presidential candidate, outgoing President Serzh Sargsyan announced in a statement.

In 1982 Sarkissian became a Visiting Research Fellow and later on a professor at Cambridge.

Sarkissian was Armenia’s Prime Minister from November 1996 to March 1997, but in the position of President, he would perform ceremonial roles. Each President serves a seven-year term in Armenia.

The current Armenia President, Serzh Sargsyan proposed for Sarkissian, current ambassador to Britain, to run in the March election. This move has been criticised as an attempt for Sargsyan to retain power after constitutional amendments in 2015 determined that the Prime Minister and Parliament would take on more responsibilities, weakening the power of the President.

Sarkissian, a businessman and political independent, has denied any intention to move back to the post of Prime Minister once the position of the President becomes largely ceremonial. However, accusations of government corruption and mishandling of money continue.