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Armenian president resigns citing insufficient constitutional authorization

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Armen Sarkissian believes the country’s constitution does not give the president sufficient powers to influence events. Courtesy photo

Yerevan, Armenia | Xinhua | Armenian President Armen Sarkissian on Sunday announced his resignation, citing the lack of constitutional power for him to solve domestic and foreign policy problems.

In a statement posted on the presidential website, he attributed his resignation to “a paradoxical situation when the President has to be a guarantor of statehood without actually having any real tool.”

“Because of the responsibility I assumed as the President of the Republic. I was obliged to do everything in my power to rule out further deepening of the internal division, possible clashes, which could lead to extremely negative consequences. I also sought to use my reputation and connections gained throughout my many years of work, my international political and economic potential to build a strong, stable state,” said the president in the statement.

Sarkissian pointed out in the statement that due to the lack of appropriate tools endowed by the Constitution, he failed to influence the political events that led to the current national crisis.

The statement added that the president does not have the power to influence important domestic decision-making process which is important for the country.

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Sarkissian stressed that the purpose of his proposal “was not to move from one model of government to another, but to create a state system based on checks and balances.”

Sarkissian was sworn in as Armenia’s fourth head of state for a seven-year term on April 9, 2018.

Armenia has been transitioning from a direct presidential system of governance to a parliamentary one after constitutional reforms were approved in a national referendum in December 2015. The parliament can elect a president with a three-quarters majority.

Under the new constitutional amendments, although recognized as the head of state, the president will hold a largely ceremonial role with real executive power lying in the hands of the prime minister.

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Xinhua

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