Ghoukassian Tells Cabinet to Work As ‘Team’

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)–Nagorno-Karabakh Republic president Arkady Ghoukassian presided over the first official session of his new cabinet over the weekend–urging its members to "be united and work as a team."

"The unfolding democratization in [Karabakh’s] political life has no alternative," he said.

Ghoukassian’s remarks came one week after the last vacancies were filled in the cabinet of Prime Minister Anushavan Danielian–following a serious government crisis in Stepanakert.

The crisis is believed to have resulted in the weakening of his powerful opponent–former Defense Minister Samvel Babayan–who currently serves as commander of the Karabakh army. But Babayan has apparently clinched a major concession with the appointment of two relatively neutral figures as ministers of defense and interior.

Ghoukassian denied media reports that Babayan’s supporters in government are being harassed–and insisted that all of the latest staff changes are aimed at improving the government’s work. "There are no perpetual posts and officials," he said.

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