Samvel Shahramanyan

Samvel Shahramanyan

Baku/01.09.23/Turan: September 1 marked a significant turning point for the Armenians residing in the populated areas of the Karabakh Economic Region of Azerbaijan. Samvel Shahramanyan assumed the de facto civilian leadership position, being appointed "state minister" with considerable authority by the now-resigned and illegitimate president, Araik Harutyunyan. The post of "president" is awaiting a successor, with the region's illegal "parliament" set to make an appointment within a week.

This recent shift in power can be traced back to a series of events that began on July 29, 2023. On that day, "parliament" speaker Artur Tovmasyan voluntarily stepped down from his position, acknowledging his inability to influence unfolding events. Subsequently, on August 9, David Ishkhanyan, a representative of the radical nationalist Dashnaktsutyun party, was elected as the new "speaker," signaling a transfer of elected power into the hands of staunch adversaries of Azerbaijan.

With Harutyunyan's departure, his ally "state Minister" Gurgen Nersisyan, known for impassioned anti-Azerbaijan rhetoric, also resigned. Another notable departure was Artak Beglaryan, known for his fervent animosity towards Turks. Ruben Vardanyan, once a "state minister," then an "adviser to the state minister," also exited the political stage.

Stepping into this shifting landscape is Samvel Shahramanyan, who formerly held the post of "secretary of the Security Council." Shahramanyan's career trajectory is marked by his roles in various governmental departments since 1999. Notably, he served in the local "National Security Service" from 1999 to 2008, followed by positions such as "head of the operational investigation Department of the tax Service" (2008-2010), "chief enforcement officer of the Ministry of Justice" (2010-2013), "head of the Criminal Investigation Board of Khankendi," (2013-2018), "Director of the Service National Security" (2018), "Minister of Youth, Sports and Tourism" (2020), and "Secretary of the Security Council" (2023).

Shahramanyan has faced personal tragedy as well; his son lost his life in the 44-day war. Yet, his career progression has been attributed to his apparent avoidance of major confrontations with corrupt officials, as noted by blogger David Stepanyan. Stepanyan asserts that Shahramanyan's rise through the ranks was facilitated by his tendency to turn a blind eye to certain practices, particularly high-ranking officials' evasion of taxes. This has allowed him to consistently climb the ladder of success.

In contrast to his predecessor, Shahramanyan has not faced a criminal case initiated by the Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan, positioning him potentially more favorably for negotiations with Baku. However, his stance on the demands made by Azerbaijan remains unknown as of now.

As the leadership dynamics continue to evolve in the region, Shahramanyan's ascendancy and his potential role in shaping the region's relationship with Azerbaijan will undoubtedly be closely watched by both local and international observers.-0--

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