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Armenian president quits over lack of influence in ‘difficult times’

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 Armenian President Armen Sargsyan announced on Sunday that he would step down from his largely ceremonial post citing his office s inability to influence policy in times of national crisis The announcement comes in the wake of a period of instability in the small ex Soviet Caucasus nation struggling economically in the wake of a war with longtime rival Azerbaijan Armenia s humiliating defeat and loss of the disputed territory in late 2020 ultimately sparked massive street demonstrations and an internal crisis that pitted Sarkisian against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan This is not a decision driven by emotions and stems from specific logic Sargsian said in a statement on his official website The president does not have the necessary tools to influence important foreign and domestic policy processes at difficult times for the people and the country he said At the heart of that disagreement was the dismissal of the Armenian military chief of staff and Sargsyan had refused to sign an order from Pashinyan to transfer him in a blow to the embattled prime minister The outgoing president said at the time that the crisis could not be calmed by frequent personnel changes Sarkisian in his statement Sunday night lambasted a reality where the president cannot veto laws he believes are bad for the people and the country He added that various political groups in the landlocked country see the office of the presidency not as a blessing for Armenia but as a danger to them Call for legal reforms I hope that the constitutional changes will eventually be implemented and that the next president and the presidential administration will be able to operate in a more balanced environment the statement added The war which left more than 6 000 dead saw Russian peacekeepers deployed in the disputed mountainous region Armenia s constitution stipulates that the parliament which is controlled by parties aligned with Pashinyan must hold a vote to decide the next president within 35 days A former professor of physics Armen Sargsyan was born in 1953 in the capital Yerevan He served as prime minister between 1996 and 1997 according to an official biography He was the Armenian ambassador to the UK when he was elected president in March 2018 by the legislature with a large majority The announcement of Sarkisian s resignation comes shortly after a visit to the United Arab Emirates after which his office announced that he would be absent for medical checks without giving details Armenia s economy has struggled since the Soviet collapse and money sent home by Armenians abroad has helped build schools churches and other infrastructure projects including in Nagorno Karabakh Armenia has a large and politically powerful diaspora spread across the world in the wake of the Ottoman era massacres now estimated at 10 million people mostly in Russia the United States and France Source Credit TheGuardian
Armenian president quits over lack of influence in ‘difficult times’

Armen Sargsyan

Armenian President Armen Sargsyan announced on Sunday that he would step down from his largely ceremonial post, citing his office’s inability to influence policy in times of national crisis.

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Soviet Caucasus

The announcement comes in the wake of a period of instability in the small ex-Soviet Caucasus nation struggling economically in the wake of a war with longtime rival Azerbaijan.

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Prime Minister

Armenia’s humiliating defeat and loss of the disputed territory in late 2020 ultimately sparked massive street demonstrations and an internal crisis that pitted Sarkisian against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

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“This is not a decision driven by emotions and stems from specific logic,” Sargsian said in a statement on his official website.

“The president does not have the necessary tools to influence important foreign and domestic policy processes at difficult times for the people and the country,” he said.

At the heart of that disagreement was the dismissal of the Armenian military chief of staff, and Sargsyan had refused to sign an order from Pashinyan to transfer him, in a blow to the embattled prime minister.

The outgoing president said at the time that the crisis could not be calmed by frequent personnel changes.

Sarkisian, in his statement Sunday night, lambasted a “reality where the president cannot veto laws he believes are bad for the people and the country.”

He added that various political groups in the landlocked country see the office of the presidency not as a blessing for Armenia but as “a danger to them.”

Call for legal reforms
“I hope that the constitutional changes will eventually be implemented and that the next president and the presidential administration will be able to operate in a more balanced environment,” the statement added.

The war, which left more than 6,000 dead, saw Russian peacekeepers deployed in the disputed mountainous region.

Armenia’s constitution stipulates that the parliament, which is controlled by parties aligned with Pashinyan, must hold a vote to decide the next president within 35 days.

Armen Sargsyan

A former professor of physics, Armen Sargsyan, was born in 1953 in the capital Yerevan. He served as prime minister between 1996 and 1997, according to an official biography.

He was the Armenian ambassador to the UK when he was elected president in March 2018 by the legislature with a large majority.

United Arab Emirates

The announcement of Sarkisian’s resignation comes shortly after a visit to the United Arab Emirates, after which his office announced that he would be absent for medical checks, without giving details.

Armenia’s economy has struggled since the Soviet collapse and money sent home by Armenians abroad has helped build schools, churches and other infrastructure projects, including in Nagorno-Karabakh.

United States

Armenia has a large and politically powerful diaspora spread across the world in the wake of the Ottoman-era massacres, now estimated at 10 million people, mostly in Russia, the United States and France.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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