Summing up the affirmation of the cabinet in the meeting of government of October 6 and announcing its launch, Serzh Sargsyan sent an interesting message to the ministers. It is not clear whether it is an appeal, a message or an assignment.
“There will be a lot of difficulties but be strong, be determined, as we have agreed, don’t be offended and don’t be upset. We all must understand that when we take on public service, personal life must be in the second or rather a secondary place. I believe that your family members and your friends will understand this. Do not be afraid that they will tell you: so you’re a minister, you’re a member of government, you meet less with us, you pay less attention to us. When you devote yourself to work, you double your attention to your family members, and what is more important, your people. Be united!”
In fact, Serzh Sargsyan has declared “barrack” mode for the government, at least psychologically.
Sargsyan’s message has an interesting context.
The government must be separated from the existing system to be able to fulfill its goal effectively, which is, at least, the creation of added value and increase of the resources in the country, relief of tension and to make the government more flexible.
The new government in itself, despite the new personalities, is not something new and it is tied to the ruling system with a lot of cords. Among these relationships there are personal ones, such as those of godparents and godchildren, in-laws, friends. These are the typical peculiarities and mechanisms of the system which are equally valid for the new government.
If the government is not extra-systemic, if there is not a goal to separate the government and the system at once, the “barrack” mode becomes the only, if not the best or most effective option.
Speaking about treating private life as secondary, Serzh Sargsyan actually calls on them to ignore those cords and relations that exist and have a significant importance. At the same time, Sargsyan actually sets another measure aside from the result itself. The measure is resistance in “private” issues.
In fact, this defines a new rule, condition or bar for internal systemic relations where those relationships stop being a “political category”. At least, in the scope of the government.
On the other hand, the question occurs whether Sargsyan leaves these out of the system or simply takes on the prerogative of “coordination” of these relationships.
It is possible that in the case of that new “bar” or rule a lot of relationships will be cancelled because a significant part of them were determined by the economic and political conjuncture, and the “feelings” of the young people were adjusted to them.
The other focus between the lines is the personal context.
This has an important role in the internal interactions of the ruling system in Armenia. In case of an undesirable or worrying or unpleasant situation the first thing that the representatives of the ruling system care about is who is trying to solve a personal issue. This person, no matter what position they hold, will be relieved only when they see there is nothing personal. A nuclear threat would not worry a representative of the system as much as a personal threat.
Serzh Sargsyan knows this and between the lines he is trying to reassure the representatives of this system that in the result of these changes they are left our and lose their leverages. Sargsyan is trying to reassure them that there is nothing personal in this process, he is beyond personal relations, and everything is being done on the basis of current interests and challenges. Sargsyan thus tries to insure the process of redistributions initiated by him from the most dangerous charge in the Armenian system.
Will the reassurance be enough or not is not clear, not even for Sargsyan. By the way, expecting questions after his speech and not receiving any, he joked: “Sometimes when you get no questions, you think that either everything is clear or everything is unclear and incomprehensible.”