The new faces of Armenia’s government and parliament

By Emilio Luciano Cricchio

After Armenia’s parliament held its opening session on August 2, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan started naming his third cabinet, with President Armen Sarkissian signing decrees making their appointments official.

Firstly, Suren Papikyan and Mher Grigoryan have been appointed as the deputy prime ministers of the country. Papikyan had served as Minister of Infrastructure and Territorial Administration since 2018. Papikyan will replace Tigran Avinyan who was not on the electoral list for the ruling Civil Contract party in the 2021 snap parliamentary elections. Avinyan has stated however that he remains a member of the Civil Contract party.

Grigoryan will continue on in his position and has served as deputy prime minister since January 2019.

In terms of new faces in the cabinet, former Human Rights Defender Karen Andreasyan has been appointed as the new Minister of Justice. He will be replacing Rustam Badasyan who has been Minister of Justice since June 2019.

Badasyan in turn has been appointed as the new Head of the State Revenue Committee, replacing Edvard Hovhannisyan.

Governor of Gegharkunik Gnel Sanosyan has been appointed as Minister of Infrastructure and Territorial Administration, replacing Suren Papikyan.

The new Minister of Labor and Social Affairs is Narek Mkrtchyan and the new Finance Minister is former Economy Minister Tigran Khachatryan.

A number of ministers were reappointed to their respective positions including Health Minister Anahit Avanesyan, Environment Minister Romanos Petrosyan, Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan, Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan, Minister of Emergency Situations Andranik Piloyan and Education Minister Vahram Dumanyan.

President Armen Sarkissian is yet to receive the government’s proposal for a new Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of High-Tech Industry.

In terms of non-cabinet positions, Vice President of the National Assembly Alen Simonyan has been voted in as the new parliamentary speaker.

Lawmaker Ruben Rubinyan and former Minister of High Tech Industry Hakob Arshakyan, both of the ruling Civil Contract party, have been elected as the new deputy speakers of parliament, whilst Ishkhan Saghatelyan of the oppositional Armenia Alliance, has been nominated for the remaining deputy speaker post usually afforded to the opposition.