Armenian president again rejects PM’s motion to sack army chief, applies to Constitutional Court

Panorama, Armenia
March 2 2021

Armenia's President Armen Sarkissian has again rejected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s motion to dismiss Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Onik Gasparyan.

In a statement on Tuesday, the president said he attaches importance to the urgent settlement of the political crisis created over the issue of Onik Gasparyan’s dismissal.

“For that purpose meetings were held with the prime minister, Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan and the military’s top brass. The prime minister’s arguments for not accepting the president’s objections to the draft decree on the dismissal were also examined. It is obvious that the current situation is the result of the existing disagreements, sometimes with highly personalized approaches, among the political and military figures during the war and in the post-war period,” the statement reads.

The president made a decision not to sign the draft decree and will apply to the Constitutional Court with a request to determine the compliance of the 2017 law “On the Status of Military Service and Servicemen” with the Constitution.

Earlier on Thursday, Pashinyan dismissed Gasparyan, accusing him of “attempting a military coup” after the military’s top brass demanded his and his cabinet’s resignation. The prime minister's order needed an approval from the presidency.

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS