Armenia's presidents to be more modest, prime ministers - more luxurious

Armenia's presidents to be more modest, prime ministers - more luxurious

On April 9, the National Assembly of Armenia will elect a new president in accordance with the new constitution of the country, who will assume representational functions, but his working conditions will be much more modest than those of the current president. Armenia's Ministry of Justice recently proposed amendments to the Law on Social Guarantees to Persons Holding Public Offices, which imply serious changes to the servicing of the next prime minister and the president of Armenia. According to them, the next Armenian president will cede not just his political functions, but also his 'service personnel' to the prime minister, Sputnik Armenia writes.

The president himself will determine the composition of his own administration, but the number of its staff will not exceed 180 people instead of the current 330. The reserve fund of the administration will be limited to 75 million drams ($156,000) per year, which will be managed by the president.

The presidential residence will be less comfortable: the presidential residence will be moved to 47 Mashtots avenue (the current Government Reception House). The president will be given a service mansion with a service in Yerevan and a state summer residence in Sevan. The president will be also provided with an official state car, and his health will be controlled by his personal doctor.

The president will keep his service vehicle and a well-equipped office after resigning, but will have to hand over his apartment and summer residence to the state. The current president's administration will pay him modest state support and even pay for his foreign trips - but no longer than 10 days a year. He will also have three employees on the staff of the incumbent president.

The former president will receive a special pension, which would amount to 70% of his former salary. Bu there are reservations - he will not receive this money if he takes a post with a higher salary. And even if he receives less pay, they will only pay a difference.

But the Prime Minister, according to the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Justice, will have almost unlmitled possibilities: he will determine the number of his administration staff himself, the only restriction - it should not exceed 600 people. The size of his administration's reserve fund will be twice as much - up to 150 million drams a year (about $312,000), which will be managed by the Prime Minister.

The head of state will live in the current presidential palace on 26 Baghramyan Avenue, and, of course, as the president, he will get an official mansion with a service in Yerevan, as well as a residence on the shore of Sevan Lake.

The prime minister will have much better transportation service - in addition to cars, his garage will include a specially equipped aircraft and a helicopter. And, of course, the prime minister will have his own doctor.

It is interesting that  the reserve fund is also envisaged for the speaker of the Armenian Parliament - it will be as high as 50 million drams a year ($104 thousand).

Let us recall that according to the constitutional reforms adopted in December 2015, the main executive power in Armenia is exercised by the government. The president will have only representational functions, therefore, he will be elected not by direct vote, but through the electoral college, comprised of the main (by electorate) political forces and representatives of local self-government bodies.