By Astghik Bedevian
A senior lawmaker from the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) on Friday admitted that his fellow party members had expected to see a Republican appointed as the country’s new prime minister, but said later discussions convinced them of the president’s nominee being the “right choice”.
Rafik Petrosian, in particular, said that the decision to appoint nonpartisan Central Bank Chairman Tigran Sarkisian prime minister proved correct in the final analysis as this appointment, according to him, was also acceptable to various international financial institutions that Armenia relies upon.
“Armenia has been a recipient of sizable aid from different financial organizations and their opinion also matters,” Petrosian explained. “We made sure that it was a suitable decision as different financial organizations, including the World Bank and others, thought a former Central Bank Chairman would better implement financial policies.”
Representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and Orinats Yerkir, partners of the Republicans in the new four-party coalition, also defended Tigran Sarkisian’s appointment as a “correct decision”.
Meanwhile, the opposition Zharangutyun party’s representative claimed Tigran Sarkisian is not strong enough according to “Armenian perceptions” to work as prime minister in Armenia.
“I fear that the coalition will be a coordinated, collectively responsible and collectively accountable entity,” Stepan Safarian, secretary of the Zharangutyun parliamentary faction, said.
Safarian explained that a leader in Armenia is perceived to be strong if he can instill fear in his inferiors and tolerate no challenge. He added that Tigran Sarkisian was not such a person.
And Mher Shahgeldian, of the Orinats Yerkir party, predicted that the distribution of ministerial portfolios in the coalitional government would be over already by the end of this week.
Naira Zohrabian, a representative of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), another coalition member, predicted that they would retain the three ministerial portfolios they currently hold, including the ministries of health, urban development, sport and youth affairs.
Dashnaktsutyun’s Hrair Karapetian said their three ministers in charge of labor and social affairs, education and agriculture had worked well and should be given a chance to continue their work.