The National Assembly (parliament) ofKarabakh yesterday rejected president Arkady Gukasian’s proposal to mergethe posts of president and prime minister and to take over the primeministership himself. (Russian agencies, June 9) The crisis stems from primeminister Leonard Petrosian’s resignation under pressure from the DefenseMinister, Lieutenant-General Samvel Babaian, who aspires to political power.Babaian suffered a limited setback last week, when Gukasian resisted his bidand forced the resignation of Samvel’s brother Karo Babaian as internalaffairs minister (see the Monitor, June 9).
On June 8, however, the defense minister apparently felt strong enough toclaim a say over government appointments, a voice in tax policy and moregenerally a leading role for himself “in the economic sphere which istoday’s main battlefield, where a breakthrough must be achieved and victorymust be gained.” He indicated that he is available for the post of primeminister. (Noyan-Tapan, June 8) Samvel Babayan led the Karabakh forces tovictory in the 1992-94 war. As the National Assembly’s vote indicates, thelast word has not yet been said in the power struggle.
KUMTOR CRUCIAL TO KYRGYZSTAN.