Armenian Prime Ministers, the most powerful figures of Armenian politics and government, have much in common. They all faced similar challenges when they became the head of Government.
Depending on the political and economic situation during the post-soviet period, some Prime Ministers in Armenia failed to fulfill their main tasks and did not enjoy great popularity.
However, there were also some premiers who led a policy of economic reforms and made a major difference in the country.
So, who are the 14 Armenian Prime Ministers?
What is the most infamous scandalous incident in Armenian politics?
Who are the “super stars” of Armenian Government?
Keep up reading to find out the answers to these questions and more about Armenian premiers!
What Role Do Armenian Prime Ministers Have?
The Prime Minister of Armenia is the most senior minister within the Armenian government. Prime Minister is required by the constitution to supervise the Government activities and coordinate the work of the Ministers.
However, the amendments concerning the new political system will come into force only after the end of Serzh Sargsyan’s (the President of Armenia) second presidential term in 2018.
As Armenia is still a semi-presidential country and there is still time for the new constitution to come into force, let’s get acquainted with all fourteen Prime Ministers of independent Armenia.
Armenian Prime Ministers
Armenian Prime Ministers #1: Karen Karapetyan
The majority of Armenians accepted the new Prime Minister with great respect, since due to his intelligence and long years of professional experience Karen Karapetyan has always enjoyed a great popularity in Armenia.
From the very beginning it was believed that Karapetyan’s new Government will bring sweeping changes and reforms to the country and economy. So, it is not accidental that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan called the new premier a “symbol of change’’.
It is surely too soon to speak about the results of Karapetyan’s governance. The only thing we can do now is to wait for the further developments in Armenian politics and see whether Karen Karapetyan will remain the Prime Minister in 2017 after Parliamentary elections.
But before it you should know that some of Armenian Prime Ministers share similar interests. Some of them are not only music fans but play different instruments as well. Karen Karapetyan is not an exception.
The newly appointed Prime Minister’s love towards music was discovered by a video, where Karapetyan excitedly plays percussion instruments. According to various sources, the Prime Minister has number of percussion instruments and sometimes plays music after hard working days.
Armenian Prime Ministers #2: Hovik Abrahamyan
Hovik Abrahamyan is an Armenian politician, a member of the ruling Republican Party and previously the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia.
However, the statistics show that during Abrahamyan’s governance, the country underperformed economically. In 2015 Armenia’s economy started to deteriorate. Economic growth slowed to 3 percent in 2015, from 3.5 percent in 2014, and below the government’s growth forecast of 4.1 percent.
Abrahamyan’s government has faced mass protests over electricity costs, pension reform and increases in public transportation costs. All this discontent paved a way for the cabinet to resign.
As already mentioned, Karen Karapetyan, Gazprom high-profile executive replaced Hovik Abrahamyan as the new premier.
Armenian Prime Ministers #3: Tigran Sargsyan
Tigran Sargsyan is believed to be one of the Prime Ministers who tried to lead a policy of economic reforms.
Major reforms Tigran Sargsyan’s government initiated were the following: cash machines reform, e-government development, several major changes in tax policy, North-South highway construction (unfinished), tax-free system for start-ups (unfinished), compulsory pension system (unfinished), obligatory car insurance reform.
He was highly criticized for obligatory car insurance reform which later became a common practice for the Armenian society. Severe protests were also organized against launching new compulsory pension funding system.
After leaving the office, he served as Ambassador to the United States from 2014 to 2016.
In case you ask Armenians to recall any scandal or funny incident connected with Tigran Sargsyan they will unanimously tell you how the Armenian PM appeared drunk in front of hundreds of students when delivering a speech on Students’ International day. Tigran Sargsyan, however, denies any wrongdoing.
You can also find a video on YouTube where Tigran Sargsyan plays the guitar and beautifully performs ‘Barov ekar, sirun krunk’ (Welcome, dear crane).
Armenian Prime Ministers #4: Serzh Sargsyan
During this period, the activities of the government were aimed at ensuring Serzh Sargsyan’s becoming president. Thus, there is not much to speak about Sargsyan as a Prime Minister.
Armenian Prime Ministers #5: Andranik Margaryan
Margaryan was the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of Independent Armenia. (7 years). After Andranik Margaryan’s death, Serzh Sargsyan was appointed as a Prime Minister.
Andranik Margaryan’s death was a great loss for the Armenian nation.He was one of the rare Armenian political figures who was loved and revered by the nation.
Armenian Prime Ministers #6: Aram Sargsyan
It is difficult to dwell on Aram Sargsyan’s economic policy. During that time, the government was paralyzed, which brought to his resignation.
Armenian Prime Ministers #7: Vazgen Sargsyan
At the time of Sargsyan’s governance, Armenia had not yet recovered from the economic effects of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the energy crisis in Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
Sargsyan described the economic situation in Armenia as “extremely difficult, but not hopeless.” The budget revenues were almost 20% lower than the government had planned, because of the low level of tax collection.
He said that tax evasion played a role in the budget deficit. Thus, Vazgen Sargsyan pledged a tough crackdown on the shadow economy.
Unfortunately, Sargsyan, along with some MPs, was assassinated in the Armenian parliament shooting of 27 October 1999.
After the October 27 crimes, in order to ease the situation in the country, the then President Robert Kocharyan, appointed Aram Sargsyan, Vazgen Sargsyan’s brother to this post.
Armenian Prime Ministers #8: Armen Darbinyan
After becoming the president, Robert Kocharyan appointed Armen Darbinyan as a Prime Minister.
During the years of being a Prime Minister, Armen Darbinyan’s government did nothing noteworthy.
Armenian Prime Ministers #9: Robert Kocharyan
You see, Kocharyan served rather short time as a Prime Minister. Thus, it is a little difficult to assess the year of his activities as a Prime Minister from the point of economic reforms.
However, Kocharyan managed to restrain the military-feudalistic groups who reigned in Armenia and settled somehow the economic mechanisms.
Armenian Prime Ministers #10: Armen Sargsyan
After the presidential elections in 1996, in order to lessen the political tension in Armenia, the then President Levon Ter-Petrosyan appointed Armen Sargysan as a Prime Minister.
Armen Sargsyan held this office for a short time, not even living in Armenia for a period. Thus, there is even no sense to dwell on Armen Sargsyan’s economic policy.
Armenian Prime Ministers #11 Hrant Bagratyan
As a Prime Minister, Bagratyan led a clear policy of economic changes which, despite criticism, kept Armenia far from collapse. During Bagratyan’s governance, land reform, privatization of small and medium size businesses have been realized. He also initiated tax, custom and banking reforms (formation of an independent central bank in 1994).
Bagratyan’s Government has a key role in the victory of Nagorno-Karabakh war in 1993-1994. From 2012, Bagratyan is a Member of the National Assembly of Armenia.
Hrant Bagratyan has PhD in Economics. He has authored 11 books and 62 research papers. Before starting his career at the Government of Armenia, Hrant Bagratyan worked at theater orchestra at the Theater after Hakob Paronyan, playing blues on acoustic guitar.
Hrant Bagratyan has authored over 15 works and plans to release an album (another “super star” in Armenian politics). According to him, human life is enough to be professional at least in two spheres.
Armenian Prime Ministers #12 Khosrov Harutyunyan
From 1995 to 1999 he was a Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. From 1998 to 1999 Harutyunyan was the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.
Armenian Prime Ministers #13: Gagik Harutyunyan
Gagik Harutyunyan is the president of the Constitutional Court of Armenia.
Harutyunyan, however did not lead any kind of economic policy that could change the economic and political situation of the country for the better.
Armenian Prime Ministers #14 Vazgen Manukyan
When Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s (First President of RA) team won the presidential election, Vazgen Manukyan resigned from the office of the Prime Minister on 22 November 1991 and became opposition.
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