Sarkissian again turns down PM’s motion on firing army chief, applies to high court

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YEREVAN, MARCH 2, ARMENPRESS. President Armen Sarkissian again rejected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s motion on dismissing the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan.

The presidency said in a news release that Sarkissian attaches importance to the immediate resolution of the political crisis around the issue of Gasparyan’s dismissal, and that in this regard he’s held meetings with the Prime Minister, with Gasparyan himself and the high command of the military.

“The Prime Minister’s substantiations regarding not accepting the President’s objections on the draft decree on the dismissal were studied. Clearly, this situation is a result of existing disagreements – at times with highly personalized approaches – among the political and military figures in the war and post-war period,” the presidency said, noting that the president’s objections were also based on problematic interpretations in terms of law, the practice of applying the law and the potential gap in the law.

“In his previous statements the President stressed that a speedy and constitutional resolution of the issue is of primary importance for the security and stability of Armenia and Artsakh and is an absolute necessity for preservation of statehood, for preventing a further division of society, for restoring national unity and public solidarity, overcoming the uncertain situation and reaching a final solution. The President decided to not sign the draft decree. At the same time, pursuant to paragraph 4, clause 1, Article 169 of the Constitution, the President will apply with a separate application to the Constitutional Court with a request to determine the constitutionality of the 2017 November 15 law On Military Service and the Status of Servicemen. Faithful to his commitment, the President will continue steps aimed at further stabilizing the situation, and, by serving the institute of the president as a platform, is calling on everyone to negotiate to find a comprehensive solution to all existing problems.

Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan

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