When Karen Karapetyan was appointed as prime minister in 2016, the people’s dissatisfaction with the government decreased, but the authorities failed to take advantage of the moment
The acting PM of Armenia Karen Karapetyan held the last governmental meeting today.
Karapetyan, who has been the head of state since 2016, delivered a farewell speech and asked the ministers to prepare a concluding report on the work of the state for the public.
On 8 May the Armenian parliament will hold elections for the the country’s prime ministership. The new PM will form a new government. On 1 May the first round of voting took place, but ‘national candidate’ Nikol Pashinyan did not receive the number of votes necessary to become PM as the parliamentary majority was not ready to let go of power at the time.
Afterwards protesters once again took to the streets and shut down the city. This time the main roads and the airport were also closed. After this the parliamentary majority said that it would support any candidate that receives a third of the votes.
In an interview with JAMnews, economist Hayk Balanyan said that the soon-to-be former government cannot present the public with any reports, and that PM Karen Karapetyan is leaving the new government with a ‘bad’ legacy.
Balanyan further added that Karapetyan did not solve the problems he inherited as PM and that over the course of his tenure as PM only new problems have appeared which will now have to be resolved by the new head of state:
“The government of Karen Karapetyan is leaving the next head of state an external debt of 7 billion dollars. This government is leaving an eternal number of problems in all fields behind. This is of course not entirely the fault of Karapetyan, but he did play a role in the creation of the crisis.”
“All the promises and statements made by Karapetyan before his appointment as prime minister and afterwards never became reality. He simply saved the authorities after the rather tense events of 2016 [the April four-day war on the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh -ed] with his positive image and he reassured the public, but he didn’t use the time to his own benefit.”
Balanyan says that if the authorities hadn’t appointed Karen Karapetyan as PM two years ago, the protests that we saw in April may have happened much earlier. His appointment gave rise to hopes in society that there would be positive changes, and this postponed the breakout of public discontent.
At his farewell speech today, Karapetyan gave his cabinet a final order: to fulfill, in good conscience, their last obligations before the formation of a new government.