President Armen Sarkissian has announced his resignation. The President has issued a statement, which reads, in part:
“In the early 1990s, with major geopolitical changes, our people were given the greatest opportunity to establish their own independent state. Our mission was not to replace one flag with another, but to build a country that would ensure the security, progress, and prosperity of Armenians again centuries later.
I emphasize that the main meaning of the existence of an independent state is the ability to assume and bear responsibility, when we realize that only we, as a single body, are the builder of our own victories and guilty of our own defeats.
Encouraged by such a historic opportunity, I, like many of my compatriots, dedicated myself to that mission. For various reasons, my participation at various stages changed, but I did not stop believing in our ultimate national success. And that was my main motivation for agreeing to the proposal to become the President of Armenia.
Making this important decision, I proceeded from the proposal made to me, according to which the new presidential institution will have tools, opportunities to influence foreign policy, economic, investment policy, relations with the Diaspora, as well as to promote national interests in the international arena, new scientific and educational and to create a high-tech environment.
Some time later, the events of April-May 2018 took place.
The question may be, why did I not resign at that time? The answer is obvious, because of the responsibility I took on as President of the Republic. I was obliged to do everything in my power to avoid further deepening of the internal division, possible clashes, which could lead to extremely negative consequences. I sought to use the prestige and connections gained through my many years of work to use my international political and economic potential to build a strong, stable state.
Again, 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, tools with which any state official is endowed with only one document – the Constitution. The roots of some of our potential problems are hidden in the current Basic Law.
We have a paradoxical situation when the President has to be a guarantor of statehood without actually having any real tool. The Constitution also presupposes the supremacy of one institution over another, creates obstacles for well-known Diaspora specialists to participate in the management of state institutions of the historical Homeland, and so on.
We are a parliamentary republic with eggs, but not with content. The purpose of my proposal: was not to move from one form of government to another (parliamentary to semi-presidential or presidential), but to create a state system based on checks and balances. Without it, it is difficult to talk about significant achievements, because progress և success can be achieved only in the conditions of a predictable, harmonious system.
I am glad that a commission for constitutional amendments has been set up, for which I thank the government. I hope that eventually the constitutional changes will take place, the next president and the presidential institution will be able to work in a more balanced, coordinated environment.
We live in a unique reality, a reality where the President can not influence matters of war or peace.