A leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) was full of praise on Wednesday for a new policy program drawn up by Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s cabinet following recent parliamentary elections.
The program has been submitted to the National Assembly and will be debated by lawmakers later this month. Its almost certain approval by them would amount to a vote of confidence in the government that was only slightly reshuffled as a result of the April 2 elections won by the ruling Republican Party.
Dashnaktsutyun’s Aghvan Vartanian said he and the six other parliament deputies representing the pro-government party have already read the proposed action plan and are very impressed with it. “This is a very meticulously written program with a clear timetable and time frames and with clear sectoral objectives,” he told journalists.
Vartanian said that the still unpublicized program is “more ambitious” and sets “more serious objectives” than similar documents that were put forward by Armenian governments in the past.
The current government’s previous program approved by the parliament in October promised a tougher fight against corruption, better tax administration and “equal conditions” for all businesses. It described corruption as “the biggest obstacle to the development of the state” and said “conventional approaches” can longer address Armenia’s socioeconomic problems.
Opposition politicians dismissed this reform agenda as a publicity stunt.
Vartanian insisted that the country has entered a “period of qualitative changes.” “In all sectors of the economy foundations are being laid for those changes,” he said.
Karapetian will lay out his cabinet’s priorities and further actions amid continuing uncertainty over his political future. President Serzh Sarkisian has yet to specify whether he plans to become prime minister, replace Karapetian or by someone else or keep the current premier in office after his final term ends in April 2018.
Vartanian declined to clarify whether his party, which is represented in the government by three ministers, would like Karapetian to retain his post. “Dashnaktsutyun would like the changes that have started to be completed,” he said. “Individuals are not important. Karen Karapetian’s current activities totally satisfy Dashnaktsutyun.”