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Armenia off balance: Government resigns over PM’s death

“Andranik Margaryan, the Prime Minister of Armenia, the chairman of Republican Party of Armenia died of heart stroke in his apartment on March 25, at 13:20.” (E-channel) Andranik Margaryan, the longest serving Prime-Minister of Armenia (in power since May 12, 2000), head of the ruling Republican party and one of the clear favorites in the upcoming Parliamentary elections (scheduled on May 12, 2007), dies at a time, when stability is crucial for the country, and when many see him as a balancing factor in the Armenia, a guarantor of state stability.

The reaction in the Armenian blogosphere is reserved. “It's not the most quiet time in the country for the Premier to die” Kornelij Glas (ru) notes. Life in Armenia, Blogrel and others limit themselves to speculation, as to how much PM's death will strengthen the role of Armenia's Defense Minister, next Presidential hopeful Serge Sargsyan, while according to the Armenia Breaking News blog “[Republican] party’s board convened a sitting yesterday evening with the participation of Serge Sargsyan, head of the board“. All the major developments are reported by the Oneworld Multimedia, Onnik Krikoryan there doing a most professional journalistic work of covering events as they happen:

Regardless, the coming week or two will be full of reminiscing about Armenia’s longest serving Prime Minister. Although unintended, his role in the ruling Republican Party will probably be the main topic for discussion through the media ahead of the May parliamentary election.

[…]

It is uncertain how this will affect the [Republican] party in the run up to the vote, although all eyes will probably be on who is now named the next Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.


Pigh (ru) is somewhat frustrated by reactions in the Russian language Armenian blogosphere at the LiveJournal, demanding more respect towards the late Prime Minister:

The Prime Minister, the second highest official in the country has died. The leader of the ruling party has passed away… the man is no more… when many of us weren't even born yet, he was already dreaming of a free and independent Armenia – and that man has died.

Words of respect and admiration are heard from the True lies & False facts (am) and Notes from Hairenik:

He always appeared to be a gentle, peaceful man who would never deliberately harm anyone. On the contrary, he was known to do whatever he could to help those that petitioned him. Critics have scrutinized his policies and failures to tackle one issue or another, but that is to be expected of any politician.

There were some attempts to circulate conspiracy theories in the blogosphere, but those were neglected or discarded:

Like I said, I have no reason to suspect that it wasn’t a heart attack, and as I’ve mentioned in most or all of the posts so far, the news that it was a heart attack comes as no surprise to anyone. (Oneworld Multimedia)

All in all, the country has not run out of track. Following Prime Minister's death “the president of the Republic of Armenia has accepted the resignation of the government, assigning the resigned members to continue their work until the formation of the new government.” (E-channel)

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