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New High-Tech Industry Minister Named


Armenia - Hayk Chobanian.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has replaced Armenia’s Minister of High-Tech Industry Hakob Arshakian who resigned on Wednesday almost two weeks after assaulting a journalist at a restaurant in Yerevan.

Arshakian’s successor, Hayk Chobanian, has served as governor of northern Tavush province for the last two years.

Pashinian announced his decision to appoint Chobanian as the new minister of high-tech industry during a cabinet meeting held on Thursday. President Armen Sarkissian formalized the appointment with a decree signed on Friday.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Pashinian praised Arshakian’s track record but did not comment on the reason for his resignation.

Arshakian and his wife dined at a Yerevan restaurant on March 18 when he was approached by Paylak Fahradian, the editor of the Irakanum.am news website. The latter asked the minister to explain why he is not at work. Footage from a security camera showed Arshakian hitting Fahradian in the face and damaging his laptop computer moments later.

Arshakian apologized to the journalist several days after the incident. In a statement issued on Wednesday, he said he will step down because he believes it is “unacceptable for an official to use violence against any citizen.”

Arshakian, 35, is a senior member of Pashinian’s Civil Contract party. He has held the ministerial post since October 2018.

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