New Government's Program: Solutions or Wishful Thinking?
The Armenian parliamentary opposition parties question the credibility of the new Government headed by Hovik Abrahamyan, expecting little from the recent proposed program. However, the governing Republican Party insists on allowing the newly established Government time to carry out its program.

The Armenian parliamentary opposition parties question the credibility of the new Government headed by Hovik Abrahamyan, expecting little from the recent proposed program. However, the governing Republican Party insists on allowing the newly established Government time to carry out its program.

‘We should give the new government 6 months to manifest its abilities,’ stated Hovhannes Sahakyan, chairman of the NA Standing Committee of State and Legal Affairs, at the debate entitled ‘The Program of the RA New Government: Solutions or Wishes?’ initiated by the Media Center on May 23.

The debate speakers also included representatives of the other parliamentary factions: Tevan Poghosyan, Heritage faction secretary; Mikayel Melkumyan, Prosperous Armenia faction MP; Hovhannes Margaryan, Rule of Law faction MP; and Lyudmila Sargsyan, Armenian National Congress faction MP.

On May 22 the Armenian National Assembly approved the program proposed by Hovik Abrahamyan's newly established government with 70 votes in favor, 1 against and 2 abstentions. The non-governing quartet, i.e . Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Prosperous Armenia, Armenian National Congress and Heritage factions, as well as Rule of Law faction did not participate in the voting, as previously agreed.

The exceptions were Karen Botoyan (Rule of Law faction) who voted in favor of the program, earlier announcing about his crossing the floor, and Aleksandr Arzumanyan (Heritage faction) together with former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan (Armenian National Congress) who abstained in the vote.

'We had no intention to boycott the government program voting. We simply did not take part in it,' clarified Mikayel Melkumyan, Prosperous Armenia faction MP, noting that they do not seek to hinder the new government plans to improve the life conditions of the nation.

Tevan Poghosyan, Heritage faction secretary, mentioned that their faction did not discuss the program with respect to its contents since they lack confidence in the government implementing the given program. 'We do not accept a mere shift of people.'

In comparison with the previous government headed by Tigran Sargsyan, the current one, as believed by Lyudmila Sargsyan, Armenian National Congress faction MP, does not offer essential changes, ‘The changes in the people do not mean changes in the aspiration and approaches. , which are the same in the  two governments. have similar .’ The ANC representative emphasized their lack of confidence in either the new government or its program, stating that the newly established government will follow the path of its predecessor.

In response to the question about the previous voting of Rule of Law faction in favor of Tigran Sargsyan's government program and disapproval of the current program, Hovhannes Margaryan, Rule of Law faction MP, pointed out to the changes in the program as the main reason for such disapproval. ‘In contrast to the preceding one the present program does not propose a solution to the most disturbing issue for our nation, i.e. unemployment.’ The Rule of Law faction MP reminds that the previous government program specified the number of workplaces it intended to create.

‘The new government program does not include exact figures. However, it discusses the mechanisms through which entrepreneurs may create workplaces,’ stated Hovhannes Sahakyan, Republican Party representative, disagreeing with his colleague from the Rule of Law faction. According to Hovhannes Sahakyan, the government program should be  be based on realism  rather than desires.

Mikayel Melkumyan, Prosperous Armenia faction MP, noted that the new government program continues the previous program with regard to its contents. Meanwhile, the success of a program is determined by the fact whether people consider living  and working  in a  given country beneficial.

‘Hovik Abrahamyan must have the last word telling people ‘dear compatriots, I will manage to do these things within a month and I will do it,’ stated the Prosperous Armenia representative.

The representatives of parliamentary factions did not focus on the discussion of  program contents, concluding that it is the political will that matters most.

‘We seek not to look back and move forward with Hovik Abrahamyan’s government whereas the confused quartet tries to put all the blame on Tigran Sargsyan,’ said Hovhannes Sahakyan, Republican Party representative.

It will be recalled that Hovik Abrahamyan, former Speaker of the National Assembly, became the 13th Prime Minister of Armenia on April 13, replacing Tigran Sargsyan after the latter’s resignation.

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