Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian unveiled late on Tuesday his new but largely unchanged cabinet that was formed as a result of Armenia’s recent presidential election.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) approved the candidacies of the new ministers submitted by Sarkisian during a meeting of the HHK’s governing body. HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov said they will be formally appointed by President Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday morning.
Only three of the ministers did not serve in the previous cabinet that was also headed by Tigran Sarkisian. Those are Finance Minister Davit Sarkisian (no relation), Economy Minister Vahram Avanesian and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Yuri Vartanian. The latter is a renowned former weightlifter who won 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and several world championships for the Soviet Union.
Davit Sarkisian, who until now served as chief of the prime minister’s staff, and the outgoing finance minister, Vache Gabrielian will swap their previous jobs. Unlike, Sarkisian, Gabrielian will have a ministerial status in his new position.
Avanesian, who held different ministerial posts in the 1990s, will replace Tigran Davtian. The latter will be appointed as Armenia’s representative to the World Trade Organization.
Tigran Sarkisian himself was reappointed two months after President Sarkisian won a second term in the disputed February 18 election. The head of state indicated shortly after his reelection that he is not planning sweeping personnel changes because he considers the outgoing government’s economic record satisfactory. He acknowledged at the same time that “a huge number of our citizens are unhappy with our work.”
“All the ministers have been tasked with working more effectively and ensuring that the results of their work are visible,” the HHK’s Sharmazanov told journalists. “Gone are the days when the results of reforms had to be visible after one year. They must be visible today.”