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Nikol Pashinyan: “The system of public administration in its integrity should be positioned in tune with the citizens’ vote”


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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan introduced newly appointed Chief of Staff Araik Harutyunyan to the Office of the Prime Minister.

Thanking Arsen Torosyan for the work done throughout his tenure as chief of staff, Nikol Pashinyan noted: “Mr. Torosyan took office in quite a challenging period, and he lived up to the task. I must say that I am satisfied with the work done by Mr. Torosyan. Both Mr. Harutyunyan and Mr. Torosyan are key representatives of our political team, and following political discussions, including the wishes of Mr. Torosyan, we decided that he will continue his activities in the National Assembly.”

The Acting Prime Minister wished Mr. Harutyunyan every success in his responsible position as Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister. Introducing Araik Harutyunyan, Nikol Pashinyan said: “We have come a long way together in politics, and we boast a long experience of joint work.” Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the situation after the snap parliamentary elections and talked about an important feature of the new period: “We have a political program and content, which is formulated in the Civil Contract party’s electoral program. The citizens of the Republic of Armenia voted for this program, gave us a mandate, gave authority to form a government and the National Assembly. And if in 2018 we did not make such an emphasis due to the peculiarities of the situation, now I would like to say that the entire system of governance has the task of implementing what is stipulated in the Civil Contract party’s electoral program over the next 5 years as approved by the vote of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia. And therefore, the public administration system should be staffed by officers who believe in this program, who consider this program to be their benchmark, and this is an important precondition.

I want to remind you that after the revolution of 2018, I said in this hall that everyone, including in the public administration system, should get a chance, an opportunity to position themselves in the new political realities, which were also formulated by the citizens of the Republic of Armenia through the revolution of love and solidarity.

I am not saying that now. I am saying that from now on no one has a chance or time to be positioned because the citizens of the Republic of Armenia have expressed their position, and the entire system of public administration must be positioned accordingly. Consequently, those who do not believe in or do not accept our views, which is quite normal in a democratic society, and we have a normal attitude towards it, therefore, we should wish those who have problems in this regard every success in their future activities.

I consider it important to state that based on the past 3 years’ experience, we will resume one of our most important missions, namely the reforms in the field of public administration and civil service. In this regard, I attach great importance to the role of the staff and its subdivisions in fulfilling this mission.

Our government came under harsh criticism for the quality and efficiency of public governance. The criticism is legitimate, but it should be noted here that our government is not the only one to be blamed. Good governance should be a top priority for us, and good governance starts with the Prime Minister’s office.”

In this context, Nikol Pashinyan recalled the issue of acquisition of bars as discussed at a government meeting today, which reveals the problems available in the system of public administration.

“This is not just an individual and personal phenomenon. We have an institutional problem; we have to find solutions in terms of streamlining the relations between different institutions. That is perhaps the most important thing.

Institutions, the formation of institutions, the correct functioning of the mechanisms of institutions, the minimization of subjective approaches should be our priority. Of course, there will never be a system free from the human factor’s influence. This will always be the case, and therefore, we must improve the management system’s efficiency starting from the Office of the Prime Minister.

By the way, I want to say that Mr. Torosyan formulated this agenda as a legacy; he bequeathed us to solve this problem. As a member of the legislature, I hope he will make sure that we fulfill this covenant at the proper level,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

Arsen Torosyan thanked Nikol Pashinyan for being entrusted with such a responsible mission and for the fact that his request to continue his activity in the National Assembly was complied with. He also thanked the staff of the entities subordinate to the Office of the Prime Minister for 6-month-long joint work.

“Mr. Prime Minister, you noted that we went through a challenging period. I want to assure you that owing to our staff’s efforts we passed it relatively smoothly and reached this stage, when a new chapter is being opened up in the Republic of Armenia and the Government. I wish everyone to spare no effort and energy to edit this chapter under your leadership, as well as under the direct leadership of Araik Harutyunyan. I congratulate him on accepting this mission,” Arsen Torosyan said.

In turn, Arayik Harutyunyan thanked Nikol Pashinyan for his trust and Arsen Torosyan for the work done during his tenure. “We faced a truly difficult period, and I think the apparatus fulfilled this mission with honor in the post-war, politically tense period. When Arsen Torosyan took this position, I remember him saying that he was, in fact, familiar with the job, because as a minister he had communicated with many. I can say the same. I know almost everyone, I worked with them, and the job is not new to me, especially after holding the post of a minister, I took the position of chief adviser, and I had close contacts with the apparatus. We are ushering in a new political round, citizens have given us a new mandate, and the apparatus and ministries must position themselves according to this new mandate and the program that was approved by the vote. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you again for your trust. I can assure you that we will live up to the task,” the newly appointed Chief of Staff said.

Nikol Pashinyan noted that people often say we have been through a challenging period, but this does not mean at all that the next stage will not be difficult, just each stage has its own characteristics and difficulties. He underscored that we need to understand what has happened to us and what is going to happen, because correct diagnosis is the only way to predicting what will happen next, and whether there are adverse forecasts to handle them.

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