Armenian parliament chooses new president

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — The parliament of Armenia has chosen a former prime minister and diplomat to become the country’s new president when it switches its form of government next month.

Armenian voters in 2015 approved changing the government from a presidential system to a parliamentary republic. Under the change, which takes place next month, the presidency will be largely a ceremonial position.

Critics say the change will allow current President Serzh Sargsyan to de-facto remain in power as prime minister. His party holds a majority in parliament.

The parliament voted Friday to make Armen Sarkisian the new president as of April 9. He was prime minister in 1996-97 and served in diplomatic posts, including ambassador to the United Kingdom.

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