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Armenian Labor Minister Resigns


Armenia - Labor and Social Affairs Mesrop Arakelian speaks at a press conference in Yerevan, December 25, 2020.

Armenia’s Labor and Social Affairs Minister Mesrop Arakelian resigned on Friday after only five months in office.

He was promptly relieved of his duties in a presidential decree initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. The latter did not comment on the development.

Pashinian appointed Arakelian as labor minister on November 20 as part of a cabinet reshuffle that came amid opposition demonstrations in Yerevan sparked by Armenia’s defeat in the war with Azerbaijan.

In a Facebook post announcing his resignation, Arakelian said that his main mission was to oversee urgent aid programs for residents of Karabakh severely affected by the six-week war and that he has largely accomplished it.

“I am grateful to my colleagues in Armenia an Artsakh for their cooperation,” he wrote.

The 36-year-old economist, who previously served as an adviser to Pashinian and ran a consumer credit firm, gave no other reasons for his resignation or shed light on his plans.

Arakelian is a senior member of Arakelutyun (Mission), a small political party which is part of Pashinian’s My Step bloc controlling the Armenian parliament. It is not yet known whether the party will remain allied to the prime minister in the run-up to snap parliamentary elections expected in June.

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