Acting chiefs of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) and Police have been appointed as permanent heads of the structures half a year after the dismissal of their predecessors.
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signed relevant decrees on Thursday upon the request of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.
Eduard Martirosian and Arman Sargsian were appointed to act as chiefs of the two powerful law-enforcement bodies after Artur Vanetsian and Valeri Osipian were dismissed from their posts in September.
Vanetsian and Osipian led the NSS and police, respectively, since the change of government in May 2018 following popular protests that brought Pashinian to power.
Unlike Osipian, who has kept low profile since his dismissal, Vanetsian has been politically active, criticizing the Pashinian government. He announced plans to set up a political party in February.
The new appointees, Martirosian and Sargsian, are also career officers who became deputy heads of their respective agencies shortly after the 2018 “Velvet Revolution.”
Last December the pro-government majority in parliament first endorsed in the first reading but then blocked an opposition bill which would allow political appointees to run the country’s NSS and police.
Armenia’s current legislation requires NSS and police chiefs to be high-ranking career officers.