Pan Armenian News

11.06.2005, "PanARMENIAN Network" analytical department

MINISTER OF INDUSTRY OF FRANCE PATRICK DEVEJYAN HAS LOST HIS MINISTERIAL
PORTFOLIO

Our compatriot was not included in the new government of France, though he
was offered the position of the Minister of Transport.

The lower house of French parliament - the National Assembly has approved
the new government staff headed by Dominique Vilpen. It should be noted that
the order to form a new cabinet was issued by President Shirak after the
failure of the attempt to accept EU Constitution by means of a referendum.
363 deputies voted for giving a vote of confidence to the new government.
178 people voted against and 4 abstained from voting. Though most of the
members of the former government headed by Jean Pierre Raffaren kept their
ministerial portfolios, Patrick Devejyan did not receive a position in the
new government.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The reasons of the absence of Devejyan's name in the list
of the new cabinet members are quite vague. The thing is that political
analysts were sure that he would be given a ministerial post and there were
real grounds for such forecasts. On the day before the new government was
announced, referring to official sources, Russian `RIA - News' agency
reported that Devejyan was offered the post of the Minister of Transport.
What happened on the eve of announcing the new government is unknown. If the
Minister of Industry was really offered a new ministerial post, but the post
of the Minister of Transport was occupied by another person, it can be
presumed that Devejyan himself refused to be involved in Dominique Vilpen's
team. But why? There are no grounds to suppose that Vilpen distrusts
Devejyan with whom he had had long-term productive cooperation in the
parliament, in the government and in the executive committee of the ruling
`Union for a popular movement' party. No one has ever noticed any conflicts
between them. Moreover there are no grounds to suppose that the new Prime
Minister may feel distrusts towards Armenian community headed by Patrick
Devejyan.

So, what could be the reason ? It can be supposed that the reason of
Devejyan's withdrawal from the government is directly or indirectly
connected with the strengthening of the factor of the Secretary General of
`Union for popular majority' party Nicolas Sarkozy who has been appointed
Minister of the Interior and has become the third important person in the
country. It is customary to regard the leader of the ruling party as the
opponent of Shirak in many issues. Ambitious Sarkozy does not conceal his
intention to take part in the presidential elections. But Shirak has
repeatedly hinted that he does not exclude the possibility of his
candidature for the third term. Observers suppose that confrontation between
Sarkozy and the government members who will stay faithful to the President
is inevitable. Many analysts think that in the situation formed, Sarkozy is
already eager to get rid of the people of Shirak. Everyone knows that
Devejyan is an adherent of Shirak at least because Devejyan was Shirak's
lawyer and protected the future president in the course of a series of legal
processes.

Patrick Devejyan is 60 years old. He is an active figure in the Armenian
community of France. Patrick Devejyan protected the members of ASSALA
organization who were accused of attacking Turkish diplomats. His input is
especially significant in the process of recognition of Armenian genocide.
Patrick Devejyan has been the mayor of Antoni city. Several times he has
been elected deputy of the National Assembly. In 1999 he put his candidature
for the post of the leader of the ruling party and even passed to the second
tour. In 2002 Patrick Devejyan was appointed Minister Delegate for Local
Liberties. In 2004 he was appointed Minister Delegate of Industry. Patrick
Devejyan is a member of the board of the ruling `Union for popular majority'
party.

Changes in the staff of the French government have resulted in the
strengthening of muslims' positions. Two representatives of Dominique
Vilpen's cabinet practice Islam. They are Azouz Begag - the delegate
minister for the promotion of equality of chances and Hamlaoui Mekachera -
delegate minister for war veterans. These appointments testify to the fact
that the Islamic factor in France increases. However, the withdrawal of
Devejyan from the government will in no way impact on the significance of
Armenian factor in France. Firstly, Devejyan does not leave politics. It is
quite possible that he will be offered some other state post. Secondly, is
has long been clear that the approach of the political elite of France
towards Armenian question is not conditioned by the role of separate
individuals. Today, the number of pro-Armenian politicians in the
socialistic opposition is no less than that in the government, so there are
no grounds for worry.

11.06.2005, "PanARMENIAN Network" analytical department