BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) – Armenian President Armen Sarkissian refused to sign the order of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to dismiss the army’s Chief of Staff Onik Gasparyan.
Sarkissian’s office confirmed that the President of the Republic returned this decision to the Prime Minister along with his list of protests, after lawyers and experts studied it and concluded that this decision contradicts the country’s constitution.
The statement stressed that the President of the Republic is not biased towards any political forces in the country, and that his decision was based exclusively on the interests of the state, indicating that the only goal of Sarkissian lies in defending the constitutional order and ensuring the stability of the armed forces and their normal activities.
The statement pointed out the need for the armed forces to distance themselves from political affairs, adding at the same time that the army today needs support more than ever before, and its problems, especially those related to cadres, cannot be ignored.
The statement states that the current conditions in the country are unprecedented and require fundamental and comprehensive solutions. The situation cannot be resolved through job adjustments.
This decision came hours before the expiration of a three-day deadline (at midnight today) granted to Sarkissian to express his opinion on Pashinyan’s request.
If Pashinyan decides to insist on his decision and send the request to dismiss the Chief of Staff again to the President of the Republic, Sarksisian will be able to resort to the Constitutional Court in this regard.
Sarkissian had previously received Chief of Staff Gasparyan at his residence this morning, and yesterday he held a meeting with the Chief of Staff, in addition to holding consultations with various political forces.
This comes against the backdrop of the worsening political crisis that Armenia entered last Thursday when the Chief of Staff issued a statement calling for Pashinyan’s resignation.
Source: Sputnik Armenia