Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 129

Arkady Gukasian, president of the unrecognized Karabakh republic, has appointed Anushavan Danielian to the post of prime minister of Karabakh. Danielian replaces Jirair Poghosian, whom Gukasian dismissed–along with the entire government–on June 24 as part of an effort to contain the ambitions of defense minister Samvel Babaian. A criminal case has simultaneously been opened against Poghosian, who is accused of having wiretapped Gukasian’s office.

Danielian, 43, a native of Karabakh, rose to notoriety in Ukraine where he had moved during the Soviet period. Active in private business in the Crimea, Danielian became one of the leaders of the Party of Economic Revival (PEV), rose to head the Crimean Supreme Soviet’s commission on interethnic affairs (1990-1995). and ultimately became a vice chairman of the Supreme Soviet as well as the head of Crimea’s constitutional commission. In 1997-98, the PEV became the object of a systematic anticorruption investigation and soon disappeared from Ukraine’s public life. Danielian resurfaced earlier this year in Yerevan as director of the Cable Factory there. His surprise nomination as prime minister of Karabakh is believed to have the support of Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian as part of a move, concerted with Gukasian, to limit Babaian’s influence in Karabakh and in Armenia itself (Noyan-Tapan, Azg, Snark, Armenpress, Reuters, July 2-5).