In the process of patriarchal election, Armenian society waits for the değabah (trustee) election. The election will be held on March 15. The result is expected to be announced on the same day.
With the election of değabah on March 15, a concrete step will be taken after 9 years. The candidates are Armenian Primate of Germany Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian, General Vicar of the Patriarch of Istanbul Archbishop Aram Ateşyan and Bishop Sahak Maşalyan. 30 clerics will vote for electing a değabah and the candidate getting the majority of the votes will be the değabah. The elected değabah will manage the election process and govern the patriarchate until a new patriarch is elected. According to the agreement reached in Etchmiadzin on February 23-24, General Vicar Ateşyan will step down once the değabah is elected.
After long debates, several decisions had been made as a result of the meeting with Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. It was decided that Aram Ateşyan, Maşalyan and Bekdjian will be the candidates for değabah. Speaking to Agos last week, Maşalyan said that Bekdjian would be the appropriate değabah and Bekçiyan stated that it would be better if Ateşyan is not a candidate. However, Ateşyan said that he is a candidate.
Bekdjian in Istanbul
Bekdjian is also a natural patriarchal candidate. He is in Istanbul for working for the election.
Bekdjian is less known compared to Ateşyan and Maşalyan. He was born in Istanbul on December 21, 1942. He went to Pangaltı Mıhitaryan Armenian School and then to Surp Khach Armenian High School for being a cleric. In 1963, was ordained a deacon. Studying theology in the seminary school and sociology and history in Istanbul University, Bekdjian taught Armenian to the Armenian students from Anatolia. In 1965, he became Apeğa. After he completed his higher education, he ordained a priest (vartabed). In 1991, Catholicos Vazken I, considering the increasing Armenian population in Germany, assigned Bekdjian to establish an araçnortaran in Germany.