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Hrant Gadarigian

President Sargsyan Lauds New Prime Minister As 'Capable of Spearheading Real Reforms'

"Ruling Republican Party has the potential to solve any problem", Sargsyan declares

Arguing that the 2015 changes to Armenia’s Constitution were a necessary step to usher in long-term and substantive reforms to the country’s political environment and economic development, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, during his speech yesterday to the ruling Republican Party Council meeting, also announced that his party needs new leadership on all levels.

It was in this context that Sargsyan welcomed the resignation of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan as an act of individual selflessness and justified the party’s endorsement of Karen Karapetyan as the country’s new prime minister.

Sargsyan lauded Karapetyan as an individual “really capable of spearheading the wave of reforms in Armenia, to lead the society towards new economic and political freedoms, to break the stereotypes, to provide new flexibility to the economy, etc.”

Sargsyan attempted to brush aside aspersions that the changes to the constitution, whereby Armenia would transform to a parliamentary rather than presidential system of government, was more than window dressing and a maneuver by which he could remain in power after he leaves office in 2018.

“The 2015 constitutional changes were perceived by some as just another political event, conditioned first of all by the political situation and need to solve some personal issues but not by the imperative to solve fundamental problems facing the country,” Sargsyan told party members at the meeting.

Sargsyan, in his address, presented the ruling Republican Party as “multi-layered” and “representing every stratum of society”, and possessing the potential to solve any historically created problem.

Many in Armenia would argue that many problems facing the country are “man-made” rather than a product of history.

The Armenian president noted that “considerable changes” would soon be evident, mentioning changes to “existing priorities, policies, style and objectives”, including personnel changes.

Perhaps, he’s implying that other top officials will “resign” as well.

Getting back to the former prime minister, Sargsyan had this to say:

“Prime Minister Abrahamian tried to talk to the citizens of our country in a plain, simple language, listened to the people and was heard by them. The Government did its best to prepare the country for the entry into a new stage of reforms: it was a huge work, and he accomplished it successfully.”

Again, many in Armenia would disagree with this assessment.

Nevertheless, Abrahamyan will find new work in the Republican Party, as he will be heading the party’s campaign in the upcoming May 2017 parliamentary elections.

More self-sacrifice from a longtime party stalwart. 

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