There will be many familiar faces in law-enforcement structures
New government, new faces
Nikol Pashinyan, leader of the ‘Velvet Revolution’ and newly-elected Prime Minister of Armenia has already introduced a part of the future composition of his government. The newly appointed ministers are young, and most of them have never held high-ranking positions. All of them are members of Pashinyan’s team who stood side-by-side with him during the protests.
The youngest among the Cabinet members is the twenty-eight-year-old Minister of Diaspora Mkhitar Hayrapetyan. He is followed by the 29-year-old Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan and 32-year-old Minister for Territorial Administration and Development Suren Papikyan. Those who are older are under the age of 40: the First Deputy Prime Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Minister of Science and Education Arayik Harutyunyan are both 39. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will turn 43 on 1 June.
According to analysts, Pashinyan is trying to radically change the country’s governance. Not all the members of the new Cabinet have been named so far. However, political strategists say that they will be young people who have had nothing or almost nothing to do with the former government, and who are not associated with the team of ex-President Serzh Sargsyan.
“As Nikol Pashinyan reported yesterday, they had reached an agreement with another parliamentary force, the Tsarukyan faction, concerning their involvement in the government. As you may know, at a time they used to be part of Serzh Sargsyan’s team. If the remaining seats in Parliament are distributed to the people who’d already occupied them once or who used to work in the government, Nikol Pashinyan’s Cabinet will look completely different.
“One way or another, the current appointments prove that the prime minister is going to radically revise matters in all spheres. He is appointing new people who have not been in the executive branch of the government. Pashinyan is set to start radical changes,” Vigen Hakobyan, a political strategist, told JAMnews.
Another political strategist, Karen Kocharyan told JAMnews that when appointing the ministers the new Armenian leadership was guided by a single principle – to bring PM Pashinyan’s team into the government:
“A political party struggles for power. However, after it comes to power, its members become the members of the government. Was it supposed to be like that?”
Karen Kocharyan finds it hard to tell whether or not the young ministers will be able to successfully manage their roles:
“I can’t make any wild guesses; we should let them try first and then we’ll see the outcome. If they show poor performance, Pashinyan himself will replace them.”
Familiar people in the law-enforcement structures
According to experts, the leadership showed a completely different approach when appointing law-enforcement agency officials. Former government officials were appointed instead of new individuals as the Minister of Defense, the Police and National Security Service chiefs.
The Defense Minister David Tonoyan is a former member of ex-President Sargsyan’s team. He served as the Minister for Emergency Situations and the Deputy Minister of Defense. Deputy Police Chief Valery Hovsepyan was appointed as the Police Chief. Artur Vanetsyan, ex-Deputy Chief of the National Security Service Yerevan office was appointed as the Chief of the National Security Service.
“It’s quite normal when there aren’t any sweeping, cardinal changes in law-enforcement structures. One shouldn’t necessarily ruin everything and start things from scratch. There is a sequence in the law-enforcement block, when one person is replaced with another. I think it’s normal for these particular spheres,” commented Vigen Hakobyan.