YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan said on Friday that Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan has offered him to take up another post in Armenia’s new government which is being formed at the moment.
Minasyan, who is one of three members of the outgoing cabinet representing the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), did not clarify which ministry or another government agency Karapetyan wants him to manage.
“Yes, there was an offer on various directions,” he told a news conference. “As someone who was nominated by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,, I expect to make that offer the subject of discussion in the party’s governing body, after which we will present our decision.”
Galust Sahakian, the parliament speaker and a senior member of the ruling Republican Party, predicted that Minasyan will be appointed minister for environment protection. “A new government is formed and it’s only natural that the prime minister has a major say in that process,” Sahakian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
The ARF received its three ministerial portfolios in February as a result of a power-sharing agreement reached with President Serzh Sarkisian. Sahakian confirmed that Sarkisian’s recent decision to appoint a new prime minister will not invalidate that deal. He said ARF will likely have three ministers in Karapetyan’s cabinet.
Minasyan stressed that he is willing to resign from the Economy Ministry because he disagrees with Karapetyan’s plans to rename it the Ministry for Investments and Business Support. A draft law approved by the government over Minasyan’s objections on Thursday would also split two divisions from that ministry and thereby weaken it.
“Removing the word ‘economy’ from the ministry’s name is not acceptable to me,” Minasyan insisted on Friday.
“Yes, the prime minister has expressed a desire to see another person for the new positionand new objectives,” added the outgoing minister.
Karapetyan has so far appointed six of 18 or 19 ministers that will serve in his cabinet. Four of them are newcomers who will run the Armenian ministries of finance, agriculture, energy, and transport and communications.