President of Armenia resigns for lacking powers to influence politics

The president of Armenia resigns for lacking powers to influence politics

The President of Armenia, Armen Sarkisian, announced this Sunday his resignation for lacking the powers to influence the country’s domestic and foreign policy.

“We are living in a reality in which the president cannot put his veto to the laws that he considers inconvenient for his people and the State.” Sarkisian, appointed by Parliament in March 2018, said in a message posted on the Armenian Presidency website.

The resignation of the 68-year-old president comes amid tensions with the government led by the prime minister, Nikol Pashinian, whom Sarkisian urged to leave power after the country’s defeat in the Nagorno Karabakh war with Azerbaijan in 2020.

“I have thought about it a lot and after four years of intense work I have made the decision to leave the post of head of state,” Sarkisian said. The politician indicated that his decision “is not emotional” and is related to the lack of tools to influence the destinies of the country in “complex times” for his people.

“Today, more than ever, we need to take well thought out steps. We have no right to be wrong again,” said Sarkisian, who criticized the fact that the Armenian president lacks constitutional powers to “help his country,” which became a parliamentary republic after a referendum held in 2015.

In statements to Efe, the director of the Caucasus Institute, Aleksandr Iskandarian, noted that Sargsyan’s resignation is a reflection of the “growing divide in political elites” of Armenia after the war in Nagorno-Karabakh in November 2020.

The conflict, in which Azerbaijan prevailed with the active help of Turkey, meant for Armenia the loss of almost 70% of the territories which it controlled in the region since the end of the 1992-1994 war.

“Relations between the President of Armenia and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have not been good for a long time. There is also a great division in Parliament”, explained Iskandarián. However, he stressed that Sargsyan’s resignation took many by surprise.

Melissa Galbraith
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