The Head of the General Staff of Armenia has been relieved of his duties. The President of the Republic of Armenia has twice refused to sign the draft decree on his resignation, after which the head of the General Staff had to leave the post according to the law.
According to Pashinyan’s statement published on the Government’s official website on March 3, the President Sarkissian had not sent documentation pertaining to his rejection of the head of the General Staff Gasparyan’s dismissal to the Constitutional Court, the chief of Staff was therefore automatically “relieved of his post from March 10 by force of law”. The President of Armenia appealed to the Constitutional Court.
Onik Gasparyan called his resignation unconstitutional and promised to continue serving in a different status, according to the portal News.am.
He also noted that he appealed to the Administrative Court of Armenia “in order to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and law in the Republic of Armenia and the exercise of force solely on the basis of law.”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his supporters escorted by law enforcement officers march during a rally in Yerevan, Armenia February 25, 2021. Stepan Poghosyan/Photolure via REUTERS
The Premier’s dispute with top generals began after Pashinyan had declared the ineffectiveness of the Russian Iskander missile systems during the military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh. He later stated that he had been “incorrectly briefed on this matter” and had no doubts about the quality of Russian military equipment. However, his “mistake” did not prevent him from firing the deputy chief of the general staff.
This move started the war between the powers in Armenia that turned into numerous protests demanding the dismissal of the Prime Minister. On the other hand, there were some protests in his support.
The inconsistency of the policy and the methods by which Pashinyan is trying to maintain his position confirm that the Prime Minister is between a rock and a hard place. His actions are likely to lead to another wave of protests in Yerevan, which will once again hit his authority.
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