President Serzh Sarkisian appointed a 31-year-old female parliamentarian affiliated with his ruling Republican Party (HHK) as Armenia’s new justice minister on Friday.
Arpine Hovannisian’s appointment came nearly two months after the mysterious resignation of her predecessor, Hovannes Manukian. He unexpectedly stepped down after only 14 months in office. Neither Manukian nor the Armenian government has explained the reasons for the move.
Sarkisian announced his intention to give the vacant post to Hovannisian at a meeting of the HHK’s governing board late on Thursday. The board unanimously approved her candidacy.
A lawyer by education, Hovannisian was elected to the Armenian parliament on the HHK ticket in 2012. From 2008-2011 she served as an adviser to then parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian. The latter became Armenia’s prime minister in April 2014.
Hovannisian, who will turn 32 in December, will be the youngest member of Abrahamian’s cabinet.