President Sarkissian refuses to appoint Artak Davtyan as chief of army’s staff

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YEREVAN, March 11. /ARКА/. Armenian President Armen Sarkissian refused to sign a decree on the appointment of Artak Davtyan as chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, despite Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s petition.

“The President of the Republic returned the proposal of the Prime Minister on the appointment of Artak Davtyan to the post of the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces with his objections,” the presidential press service said.

On March 10 Armenia’s Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Stepan Galstyan as acting head of the General Staff ‘to ensure the regular activity of the structure due to the temporary vacancy of the post of the head of the general staff.’

On March 10 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a Facebook post that his decision to dismiss the chief of staff of the armed forces Onik Gasparyan came into force. Pashinyan ordered the dismissal of Gasparyan after the latter and more than 40 other top ranking army generals demanded his resignation in a statement on February 25.

On March 10 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan petitioned President Armen Sarkissian to approve the appointment of Artak Davtyan as chief of the staff.

Nikol Pashinyan has been facing opposition demands to resign since he signed a peace deal in November with Azerbaijani and Russian leaders to end the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh that claimed thousands of young lives, and saw Azerbaijan reclaim control over large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas that had been held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter of a century.

Earlier, President Sarkissian asked the Constitutional Court to determine the conformity of the law “On the military service and the status of the servicemen” passed in 2017 with the Constitution.

According to President Sarkissian, the Constitutional Court has the opportunity, within the scope of its powers, to conduct a comprehensive, systemically interrelated examination and make a decision.

He said the ruling of the Constitutional Court and possible measures taken may have a most serious impact on the decisions adopted so far, on the current and further processes connected with the present situation, in the context of interpreting and applying the afore-said law. -0-

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