Hovik Abrahamyan

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Hovik Abrahamyan
President of the National Assembly.jpg
Prime Minister of Armenia
In office
13 April 2014 – 13 September 2016
President Serzh Sargsyan
Preceded by Tigran Sargsyan
Succeeded by Karen Karapetyan
Speaker of the National Assembly
In office
31 May 2012 – 13 April 2014
Preceded by Samvel Nikoyan
Succeeded by Galust Sahakyan
In office
28 September 2008 – 21 November 2011
Preceded by Hrayr Karapetyan (Acting)
Succeeded by Samvel Nikoyan
Personal details
Born Hovik Argami Abrahamyan
(1958-01-24) 24 January 1958 (age 59)
Mkhchyan, Armenia, Soviet Union
Political party Republican Party
Alma mater Yerevan Institute of National Economy

Hovik Argami Abrahamyan (Armenian: Հովիկ Արգամի Աբրահամյան; born 24 January 1958) is an Armenian politician. A former member of the ruling Republican Party, he was the Prime Minister of Armenia from 13 April 2014[1] to 8 September 2016.[2] Previously he was the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia.

Early life[edit]

Abrahamyan, born in Mkhchyan village in Armenia's Ararat Province, began his professional career in 1990 as the department head of the Burastan Brandy Factory and later as the president of Artashat wine-brandy factory. In 1995 he became a member of the Armenian parliament. He became Mayor of Artashat in 1996, and the governor of Ararat Province in 1998.[3]

Political career[edit]

Under President Robert Kocharyan's administration, in 2002 he was appointed Minister of the Territorial Administration (which oversees regional government structures), serving until 2008 when he resigned in order to be appointed in April 2008 by the newly elected President Serzh Sargsyan as head of his presidential staff. In August 2008 he was re-elected in an uncontested election (in a seat vacated by the resignation of Abrahamian's older brother, Henrikto)[4] to the National Assembly (fourth convocation), and in September 2008 he was elected as Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia. He resigned as speaker in November 2011 and was re-elected to the National Assembly on May 6, 2012 as a member of the Republican Party of Armenia.[3] He opposed his predecessor's asset declaration draft law that would have required Armenian politicians and senior public officials to declare their business holdings and business interests.[5]

Prime Minister[edit]

He was appointed as Prime Minister in April 2014 following the resignation of Tigran Sargsyan for officially unknown reasons (though the controversial pension reform law caused widespread criticism). Abrahamyan was nominated for the role of prime minister by President Serzh Sargsyan calling him a "very effective new prime minister."[6] He was congratulated by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.[7]

Public image[edit]

In various cables sent in 2008, Joseph Pennington, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Yerevan, characterized Abrahamyan as being "regarded by outside observers - and many Armenians - as an unpolished, poorly educated and parochial figure, a crass nouveau riche whose brand of dirty-money politics, abuse of state "administrative resources", and cunning opportunism is in the worst tradition of recent Armenian politics",[citation needed] as "an oily, machine politician ... at the center of a purposeful effort to abuse agencies and offices of local government to arm-twist every vote he possibly can for the prime minister",[8] the "chief operating officer of the dirtiest and most coercive tactics of Serzh Sargsian's presidential election campaign",[9] and "an unsophisticated thug" whose "instincts are not progressive".[5]

Also in 2008, US Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch described Abrahamian as a politician who uses his political power to promote his business interests.[10] He has also been reported as owning more than two dozen companies, including three sand mines on the Araks river; 1,500 hectares of grape fields in Artashat; more than 10 gas stations outside Yerevan; one third of "Ararat Cement"; casinos; petrol stations; and a $7 million summer home in the Crimea.[11] He opposed his predecessor's asset declaration draft law that would have required Armenian politicians and senior public officials to declare their business holdings and business interests.[12]

Abrahamyan's son, Argam, is married to a daughter of Gagik Tsarukyan, oligarch and Prosperous Armenia party leader.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hovik Abrahamyan appointed Prime Minister". Public Radio of Armenia. 13 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.tert.am/en/news/2016/09/08/abrahamyan/2127431
  3. ^ a b "Hovik Abrahamyan". National Assembly of Armenia. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Pro-Kocharian Party Boss Moves to Parliament, as Behind-Scenes Power Tussle Continues". 25 August 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2016 – via WikiLeaks PlusD. 
  5. ^ a b "Armenian National Assembly Speaker Weighs in on Foreign Policy and Domestic Reforms". 22 December 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2016 – via WikiLeaks PlusD. 
  6. ^ "Armenian president names speaker as new prime minister". 13 April 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2016 – via Reuters. 
  7. ^ "Medvedev congratulates Abramyan on appointment as Armenian prime minister". Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Our Push Against Pre-Election Pressure Draws Counter-Fire from President". 7 February 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2016 – via WikiLeaks PlusD. 
  9. ^ "Armenia's New Cabinet: Slightly Freshened, but a Lot Like the Old One". 23 April 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2016 – via WikiLeaks PlusD. 
  10. ^ Parliament Prez and MP Get Lucrative Mining License http://hetq.am/eng/news/960//
  11. ^ "The New PM: Predicted rise to power for Hovik Abrahamyan - Politics - ArmeniaNow.com". Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  12. ^ https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09YEREVAN885_a.html "I don't accept such things," he proclaimed.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tigran Sargsyan
Prime Minister of Armenia
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Karen Karapetyan