By Ani Paitjan
Karabakh President Bako Sahakyan has made a number of changes to his government’s cabinet.
Sahakyan approved the decision of the cabinet to relieve Levon Mnatsakanyan from the position of Director of the State Service of Emergency Situations and to appoint him as Police Chief of Artsakh, according to the Artsakh Presidential Office. From 2015 to 2018, Mnatsakanyan was head of the Karabakh Defense Ministry.
Igor Grigoryan, who was the previous police chief, has been dismissed from the position and has since been appointed as an advisor to President Sahakyan.
The president approved another decision of the cabinet to appoint Vladik Khachatryan, former Minister of Science and Education, to the position of Director of the State Service of Emergency Situations. Vitaly Balasanyan was released from the position of the Artsakh Republic Security Council Secretary. He is a former member of the Parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh and a “Hero of Artsakh”, which is the highest title awarded to individuals.
David Babayan, Head of the Central Information Department, stated that the changes are not due to any criticism of the position holders, but are rather the results of human resource changes.
In May, Sahakyan and the former President of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arkady Ghukasyan, petitioned to Armenia’s Prosecutor General Arthur Davtyan to release ex-President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan from prison. They wanted him released ahead of May 9, which marks Victory Day and Shushi Liberation Day. Kocharyan was detained on charges of overthrowing the constitutional order during the 2008 post-election period.
Vitaly Balasanyan expressed his support for Robert Kocharyan, which was criticized by Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Babayan also said that Vitaly Balasanyan has made a decision to actively engage in upcoming elections in 2020.