THREE ARMENIAN PARTIES AGREE TO FORM COALITION GOVERNMENT

By (06/12/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)

Leaders of the three major political parties that support President Robert Kocharian -- Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) Chairman and Prime Minister Andranik Markarian, Orinats Yerkir (Law-Based State) Chairman Artur Baghdasarian and Armen Rustamian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun (HHD) -- signed a protocol on 11 June at a special ceremony at the presidential palace on forming a coalition government, RFE/RL\'s Yerevan bureau and Armenian news agencies reported. Under the agreement, Markarian will retain the post of premier while Baghdasarian will be named parliament speaker. The HHK and HHD willeach name a deputy speaker. The HHK will have six portfolios, and most of its outgoing ministers will be reappointed, according to Markarian. Orinats Yerkir will nominate the ministers of culture, education, and science and urban development, and the HHD those of agriculture, health, and social security. The outgoing foreign and defense ministers, whose appointment is a presidential prerogative, will retain their posts. (RFE/RL)