President Serzh Sarkisian will complete the formation of his new government by the end of this week, a senior member of his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) said on Monday.
“I think that the government’s composition will really be unveiled this week and I suppose that we will see its program submitted to the National Assembly next week,” Gagik Minasian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). He said it will not be very different from the outgoing cabinet headed by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian.
Tigran Sarkisian and three key government ministers were reappointed to their posts by the president earlier this month. The new cabinet will be dominated by HHK members. The Orinats Yerkir Party is expected to hold three ministerial portfolios there.
It also emerged on Monday that Prime Minister Sarkisian has already met with leaders of all but one Armenian political forces represented in the new National Assembly to discuss the key points of his government’s program. The program’s approval by the HHK-controlled parliament majority would amount to a vote of confidence.
Ruben Hakobian, the parliamentary leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, said that the premier offered to incorporate some elements of Zharangutyun’s election campaign platform into the program but that he is skeptical about the proposal. “I don’t think that those meetings can lead any parliamentary faction to change its approaches,” Hakobian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “It’s just contacts that have to happen.”
Sarkisian has held no meetings with lawmakers from the radical opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). One of them, Levon Zurabian, said he is unaware of the reason for the snub. “In any case, we will seriously examine the program and speak up,” Zurabian said.