Armenia had such a ministry until former President Robert Kocharian abolished it and turned the police into a separate structure subordinate to him two decades ago. The police have reported to the prime minister since Kocharian’s successor, Serzh Sarkisian, completed the country’s transition to a parliamentary system of government in 2018.
Pashinian’s government decided to recreate the interior ministry in November after years of deliberations. Under a government bill approved by the Armenian parliament in December, the ministry will comprise the national police, rescue and immigration services.
The Armenian Rescue Service is currently part of the Ministry of Emergencies which will be abolished as a result of the structural change.
From the outset, Ghazarian was widely regarded as a top candidate for the post of interior minister.
Like Pashinian, the 48-year-old police general was born and raised in the northern town of Ijevan. Multiple Armenian media outlets have for years described the two men as childhood friends.
Ghazarian was the police chief of another small town, Dilijan, when Pashinian swept to power during the 2018 “velvet revolution.” He was repeatedly promoted in the following years, becoming the chief of the Armenian police in 2020.
Ghazarian will be replaced as police chief by one of his deputies, Colonel Aram Hovannisian. Pashinian also appointed Hovannisian as one of the country’s three deputy interior ministers.