Armenia’s president resigns, complaining of constitutional shortcomings
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian resigned from office on Sunday, complaining that he did not have enough power under the country’s constitution to implement necessary changes.
“I have been thinking for a long time, 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 Sunday, according to Reuters.
“The question may arise as to why the President failed to influence the political events that led us to the current national crisis. The reason is obvious again — the lack of appropriate tools … the Constitution. The roots of some of our potential problems are hidden in the current Basic Law,” his statement added.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Sarkissian were feuding last year about a number of issues, including the dismissal of the country’s head of armed forces, Reuters reported.
Since December 2015, when a referendum made the country a parliamentary republic and lessened presidential powers, Pashinyan’s role has been considered more influential than that of the president.
Sarkissian was recommended for the leadership role of president in 2018 by outgoing President Serzh Sargsyan, who was named prime minister after Sarkissian took on the presidency. However, mass protests prompted his resignation and Pashinyan took control later that year, according to The Washington Post.
The latest leadership change comes amid an ongoing border crisis between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which flared up when Azerbaijani forces crossed into eastern Armenia in May 2021.
In 1991, Armenia seceded from the Soviet Union but still relies on Russia for aid and investment.