YEREVAN—Per the suggestion of Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, President Armen Sarkissian signed decrees appointing several cabinet members, among them minsters of defense, territorial administration, Diaspora and education. Pashinyan also appointed his fist deputy and deputy prime ministers in his ongoing effort to complete his cabinet.
Sarkissian decreed the appointment of Davit Tonoyan as Armenia’s new defense minister.
Most recently, Tonoyan was Armenia’s Minister of Emergency Management and took center stage during last summer’s Khosrov forest fire. From 2010 to 2017 Tonyan was Armenia’s fist defense miister, prior to which he headed the department of defense policy within the ministry he will oversee. Tonyan has also headed the ministry’s international military cooperation and defense programs and served as Armenian Armed Forces representative to NATO, where previously he held various positions in the Western alliance’s Allied Command Operations center.
Also on Friday Pashinyan appointed Ararat Mirzoyan as first deputy prime minister and Tigran Avinyan and deputy prime minister. The position of first deputy prime minister is similar to that of a vice-president.
Born in 1979 in Yerevan, Mirzoyan received a Ph.D. degree in 2015 from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia. He received his bachelor’s degree in history in 2000 from Yerevan State University and a Master’s degree in 2002, graduating from the Public Administration Academy of Armenia in 2004. In 2016, he was elected on the board of Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party.
Avinyan was born in 1989 and graduate in 2014 from the Queen Mary University of London, receiving a Master’s degree in finance. In 2011 he graduated from the Faculty of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Armenian (Slavonic) University earning a Master’s degree in mathematical modeling in economics. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the same university in 2009. Avinyan was also elected on the Civil Contract board in 2016.
Rounding out Friday’s ministerial appointments, the president’s office announced the appointment of Suren Papikyan as minister of territorial administration and development, previously occupied by Armenian Revolutionary Federation member Davit Lokyan. Mkhitar Hayrapetyan was appointed minister of Diaspora, long occupied by the notorious Hranush Hakopyan. The president’s office also confirmed the appointment of Arayik Harutunyan, who has run a Master’s program in Arab studies at Yerevan State University, as minister of education, a post previously occupied by the ARF’s Levon Mkrtchyan.
Pashinyan has said that he would appoint of government of accord through consultations with political forces within and outside of parliament.
On Friday, businessman Gagik Tsarukian, whose alliance voted in favor of Pashinyan’s candidacy during both rounds of votes in parliament, announced that his party would form a governing coalition alliance with Pashinyan and his Yelk alliance.