Armenian President Armen Sarkissian Resigns Over Constitutional Shortcomings

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian resigned from office on Jan. 23, due to not having enough power under the constitution to implement necessary changes.

“I have been thinking for a long time and I have decided to resign from the post of the President of the Republic after working actively for about four years,” Sarkissian said in a statement on his official website.

“That decision is not emotional at all, and it follows a certain logic. The President does not have the necessary tools to influence the radical processes of domestic and foreign policy in these difficult times for the country and the nation,” Sarkissian further said.

The Armenian presidency is largely a symbolic position and the executive power rests primarily with the prime minister.

Sarkissian cited the Constitution for “the lack of appropriate tools” in failing “to influence the political events that led us to the current national crisis.”

Sarkissian’s resignation comes amid an ongoing border crisis between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan were feuding about a number of issues last year, including about the decision to remove the chief of the military’s general staff in the wake of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“I hope that eventually the constitutional changes will take place, the next president and the presidential institution will be able to work in a more balanced, coordinated environment,” Sarkissian said.

Sarkissian served as prime minister between 1996 to 1997 before being elected as president in March 2018.

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