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Armenia's prime minister resigns after political crisis

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Karapetyan is a technocrat and former mayor of Yerevan.

"We are still a country with transitional problems where we need joint efforts by the government and the society in order to improve the economic and social situation", he said. Abrahamyan - who was appointed two years ago - has also overseen a deterioration in economic growth, which slowed to 3 percent in 2015 from 3.5 percent in 2014 and below the government's growth forecast of 4.1 percent. "We must think about everyone's success and give a chance to a new government", he said during his formal resignation speech.

Experts say the new government is likely to be temporary and the final configuration will emerge only after the parliamentary election of 2017 and the end of Sarksyan's second term in 2018, when the full transition from the semi-presidential form of government to a parliamentary republic will be completed. The premier cited new security challenges facing Armenia as a result of the April 2016 escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They claim that Armenia's leaders are disinterested in sweeping reforms because they have long abused their positions to enrich themselves and their cronies.

The tension increased when armed men overtook a police station for two weeks in the capital, Yerevan, in July. Thousands of people demonstrated in Yerevan in support of the gunmen. After clashes and lengthy negotiations they surrendered on July 31.

Armenia's economy has faltered badly in the past year following the collapse of the dram, the national currency, and widespread unemployment.

Abrahamyan started his political career in 1995 when he was elected as a member of the National Assembly.

Interfax and Reuters cited officials with the ruling Republican Party as saying party officials would meet on September 8 to consider Abrahamian's resignation. He has extensive business interests developed since the early 1990s.

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