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Armenia Needs Change, Says Pro-Government MP


Armenia - Hovhannes Sahakian, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party, is interviewed by RFE/RL in Yerevan, 24Feb2013.

Armenia - Hovhannes Sahakian, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party, is interviewed by RFE/RL in Yerevan, 24Feb2013.

Armenia’s leadership intends to make sweeping policy changes in an effort to improve the socioeconomic situation and meet new security challenges facing the country, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party (HHK) said on Wednesday.

Hovannes Sahakian pointed to President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to appoint a new prime minister, Karen Karapetian, and an agreement on the proper conduct of next year’s parliamentary elections reached by the government and the parliamentary opposition.

“Through very rapid changes, we need to develop the economy, ease these social tensions and form a new political culture which has now been accepted as a fact,” Sahakian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

“As far as we understand, our public needs rapid changes and the people should feel the results of those changes on their skin as soon as possible,” he said.

Sarkisian also stressed the importance of faster economic reforms when he announced his decision to replace Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian by Karapetian late last week. The president singled out the need to significantly improve Armenia’s business environment.

Sahakian, who chairs the Armenian parliament committee on legal affairs, insisted that the promised changes are not connected with the July 17 seizure by opposition gunmen of a police station in Yerevan. Thousands of Armenians rallied in support of the gunmen during their two-week standoff with security forces.

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