The Mayor of Yerevan, Hrachya Sargsyan, has announced his resignation ahead of city council elections later this year.
In his announcement on Friday at an extraordinary municipality meeting, Sargsyan said he was stepping down because the elections would soon be held and because ‘cooperation between the government and the municipality is good’.
He added that he would remain a member of the ruling Civil Contract Party, which nominated him to the post in late 2021. Until the elections, one of the deputy mayors will serve as acting mayor.
Sargsyan announced that Tigran Avinyan, a deputy mayor of Yerevan and a close ally of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, would be Civil Contract’s candidate for the next municipal elections in Yerevan scheduled for autumn.
Avinyan returned to the political scene as deputy mayor in September 2022.
He previously served as a deputy prime minister after Civil Contract came to power in 2018, before announcing his resignation in 2021 over disagreements with the party. He had expressed displeasure over the inclusion of two prominent businesspeople — Gurgen Arsenyan and Khachatur Sukiasyan — in Civil Contract’s election list. The two were subsequently elected MPs in the 2021 parliamentary elections.
Sargsyan became mayor of Yerevan in late 2021 after the dismissal of Hayk Marutyan, a comedian and former ally of the ruling party.
In December 2021, the Yerevan City Council removed Marutyan from his position as mayor in a vote of no confidence.
[Read more on OC Media: Recriminations fly as Yerevan mayor replaced by city hall]