On January 3 the territorial organization of Syunik region of the Republican Party in met and replaced the chair of the territorial council of the Republican Party. Surik Khachatryan who had withdrawn his candidacy has been replaced by Vahe Hakobyan who had replaced him in the position of governor of Syunik region earlier.
In fact, there has been a change of government in Syunik and it was done urgently, evidence to which is the date of the meeting – January 3. January 3 is the “culmination” of the holiday season, and in this period the Republicans get together in Syunik to change the chair of the party organization, not to celebrate the holiday. This indicates that the change was urgent. It is not ruled out that the reason for hurry was the holiday: while Surik Khachatryan is celebrating the holiday, he was stripped of party power.
However, this cannot be the main explanation because Serzh Sargsyan would hardly have a difficulty removing Surik Khachatryan if there was such an aim and a decision was made. The main issue in this case is the reason because such decisions in the ruling system are based on it – a convincing reason for the entire system that the punishment is fair.
And this is a punishment for Surik Khachatryan, a more serious discharge than his discharge from the post of governor. The point is that Armenia is a tacit party state where the hierarchy is defined or is expressed in party positions and derivatives.
Hence, the post of governor reports to the head of the territorial organization of the Republican Party, and in this sense it is symptomatic that after the tragic case of the Budaghyan brothers Surik Khachatryan was discharged from the post of governor but he continued to hold the post of head of the territorial organization of the party, which means he actually continued to hold the post of the actual head of the governor. Eventually he returned the post of governor.
Now, three months after leaving the post of governor Surik Khachatryan is removed from the position of the actual head of the region, and Vahe Hakobyan is appointed. This means that the change that started in Syunik in October is taking on a deciding stage. And the fact that this is happening amid the celebrations is evidence to an urgent decision which means that this is hardly a case of primitive PR. It would be possible to do it on January 9, after the holidays, and Syunik and Surik Khachatryan could wait until then.
Hence, perhaps facts were submitted to Serzh Sargsyan which resulted in immediate and, given the calendar, demonstrative discharge of Surik Khachatryan. However, it is demonstrative for the ruling system, not the public.
What facts were submitted to Serzh Sargsyan that a decision on “urgent” discharge of Surik Khachatryan was made? Ostensibly, in this case it is about financial issues or an intention of “sabotage” against the government or a so-called “plot”. Such mistakes are punished “immediately” in the ruling system.
On the other hand, in the current situation Surik Khachatryan would hardly be in such a scheme because currently there are no grounds for that. In this context, the financial component is more probable because the biggest weakness of the Armenian government is money now.
At the same time, it is not ruled out that Surik Khachatryan’s issue was on the agenda but something happened that accelerated the process.