The government appointed on Friday the new governors of eight of the ten provinces of Armenia who mainly represent the three minority factions in the parliament.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian pledged to replace all ten governors after coming to power and forming a de facto coalition government last month.
Four provinces -- Ararat, Kotayk, Shirak and Tavush -- will now be run by members of Pashinian’s Civil Contract party. The new Ararat governor, Garik Sargsian, is 30 years old. He has until now been the mayor of a village located in the region south of Yerevan.
The new governors of the Aragatsotn and Gegharkunik provinces represent the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). The party, which is particularly influential in the Armenian Diaspora, also has two ministerial posts in Pashinian’s cabinet.
A member of businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s bloc, the second largest parliamentary force, was named to run the northern Lori province. Incidentally, Tsarukian’s son-in-law, Karapet Guloyan, was one of the eight governors dismissed by the new government on Friday.
Two other provinces, Syunik and Armavir, still have governors appointed by the previous government. Pashinian has made clear that they too will be replaced. Those posts could be given to the Tsarukian Bloc.
Minister for Local Government Suren Papikian said on Thursday that the new governors must “correspond to new Armenian realities.” “Everything must be done to ensure that local government bodies operate in a more clear and transparent way with the active help of the governors,” he said.
Papikian also stressed that unlike their predecessors the governors will not be required to help the ruling political forces garner votes in their respective regions during elections. “Such things will be ruled out in Armenia,” he said.