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Armenian President Names Speaker as New Prime Minister

YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has appointed parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamyan as the ex-Soviet republic's new prime minister, replacing a six-year veteran who resigned after protests against his pension reform.

Former reformist Prime Minister Tigran Sarksyan, who was Central Bank governor before taking over the government in 2008, stepped down earlier this month after the pension protests and a court ruling declaring part of the reform unconstitutional.

"I am sure that everyone will understand very quickly that Armenia has a very effective new prime minister," President Sargsyan told his ruling Republican Party after announcing Abrahamyan's appointment on Sunday.

Abrahamyan, 56, who is the president's deputy in the Republican Party and an economist by training, had been parliamentary speaker since 2008.

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