Armenian President Resigns Over Lack Of Power

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has announced his resignation, citing the inability of his office to influence policy during times of national crisis.

Sarkissian,is the president since 2018, was at the centre of a domestic political crisis last year that erupted in the wake of a war between Armenia and its longstanding rival Azerbaijan for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

He was involved in a standoff with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last year over a number of issues, including the dismissal of the head of the armed forces in the wake of the war and amid protests that brought thousands onto the streets of the Caucasus nation.

In a statement posted on the presidential website, he attributed his resignation to “a paradoxical situation when the President has to be a guarantor of statehood without actually having any real tool.”

Sarkissian said;

“Because of the responsibility I assumed as the President of the Republic. I was obliged to do everything in my power to rule out further deepening of the internal division, possible clashes, which could lead to extremely negative consequences. I also sought to use my reputation and connections gained throughout my many years of work, my international political and economic potential to build a strong, stable state”.

He pointed out in the statement that due to the lack of appropriate tools endowed by the Constitution, he failed to influence the political events that led to the current national crisis.

The statement added that the president does not have the power to influence important domestic decision-making process which is important for the country.

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Sarkissian stressed that the purpose of his proposal “was not to move from one model of government to another, but to create a state system based on checks and balances.”

After a referendum in December 2015, Armenia became a parliamentary republic, and presidential powers were significantly curtailed – meaning that the role of prime minister is seen as more powerful.

The president’s statement did not refer directly to any particular events or issues.

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