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Another Provincial Governor To Resign


Armenia -- Lori Governor Andrey Ghukasian.

The governor of Armenia’s northern Lori province said on Tuesday that he will step down because of a decision to replace him made by the country’s political leadership.

“After the political decision made within the [ruling] team I was offered to tender my resignation,” Andrei Ghukasian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “I accepted the decision and am going to resign tomorrow.”

“After the resignation I will stay in the team and fully support the government,” he said, adding that he has already received new job offers but wants to “take a little break for having a rest.”

Ghukasian linked the decision to replace him with ongoing “changes” taking place in Armenia but did not elaborate. He said he is likely to be replaced by another member of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s political team.

Last week, a pro-government lawmaker representing a Lori constituency resigned from the National Assembly, saying that he will soon take up a position in the executive branch. The lawmaker, Aram Khachatrian, on Tuesday did not deny or confirm his impending appointment as Lori’s new governor.

Ghukasian has run the region bordering Georgia for the last two years. He is the third provincial governor replaced since a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 10.

The Armenian side’s defeat in the war sparked opposition protests and growing calls for Pashinian’s resignation. The prime minister has refused to quit so far, pledging instead to reshuffle his cabinet. He has replaced six government ministers over the past month.

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