President Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday appointed 11 more members of Armenia’s new government formed by Prime Minister Karen Karapetian.
Six of them are members of the outgoing cabinet who will continue to serve as ministers of education, justice, labor and social affairs, local government, emergency situations and Diaspora. Another serving cabinet member, Economy Minister Artsvik Minasian, was appointed as minister of environment protection.
Minasian as well as the reappointed Education Minister Levon Mkrtchian and Territorial Administration Minister Davit Lokian are senior members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), Sarkisian’s junior coalition partner.
The Armenian Ministry of Economy will now be headed by Suren Karayan, a former deputy finance minister. The three other newcomers are Health Minister Levon Altunian, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Hrachya Rostomian and Minister of Culture Armen Amirian.
Rostomian headed the Armenian National Olympic Committee while Amirian was a member of the governing board of the Armenian Public Television and Radio until now.
Sarkisian appointed six other members of Karapetian’s incoming cabinet last week. Four of them -- the ministers of finance, energy, agriculture and transport -- are new figures that have not held ministerial positions in the past.
The new cabinet’s formation will be essentially complete with the appointment of the ministers of defense and foreign affairs. It is still not clear whether the acting Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian will retain their posts.
There have been conflicting reports about Nalbandian’s and Ohanian’s political future since Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian resigned on September 8. Sarkisian stressed the importance of accelerating economic reforms in Armenia when he explained his decision to replace Abrahamian by Karapetian later on that day.