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Dashnak Ministers Replaced


Armenia- Armen Ashotian, Armenia's newly appointed minister of science and education.

President Serzh Sarkisian appointed on Tuesday Armenia’s new ministers of education, labor and agriculture in place of three members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) who resigned following the party’s withdrawal from the ruling coalition.

Dashnaktsutyun announced the exit late last month, citing “insurmountable disagreements” with Sarkisian over his conciliatory policy toward Turkey. All senior government officials affiliated with it tendered their resignations as a result.

The new ministers represent the three other parties remaining in Armenia’s coalition government. The most famous of them, Armen Ashotian, is a senior member of Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) who has until now headed the Armenian parliament’s committee on education, culture and youth affairs. Ashotian, 33, will now serve as minister of science and education.

The vacant post of minister of labor and social affairs was given to the HHK’s largest coalition partner, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). Its new holder, Gevorg Petrosian, was a senior official at the parliament’s Audit Chamber before the appointment. Petrosian, 36, joined the BHK in 2006.

The newly appointed agriculture minister, Gerasim Alaverdian, also worked at the Audit Chamber until now. Alaverdian, 44, is a member of the Orinats Yerkir Party, the third coalition partner.

Sarkisian and his allies have yet to fill other vacancies left by Dashnaktsutyun. Those include about a dozen posts of deputy minister. They are expected to be distributed among the HHK, the BHK and Orinats Yerkir.

“We will discuss the issue other vacant posts in a few days’ time,” Galust Sahakian, an HHK deputy chairman, told RFE/RL.
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