Armenian President refuses to sign General Staff appointment motion once again

Armenian President refuses to sign General Staff appointment motion once again

Armenian President Armen Sarkisyan once again refused to sign Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s motion to appoint Artak Davryan as the new Armed Forces General Staff head. According to the presidential press service, the head of state will also not challenge this motion in the Constitutional Court.

"The president of the republic will not sign the draft order and will not turn to the Constitutional Court. We remind that, on March 10, 2021, the president has already contacted the Constitutional Court, asking to decide on whether the law ‘on military service and the status of serviceman’ complies with the norms of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court’s ruling and adoption of necessary measures may have a significant effect on legal procedures of dismissal and appointment of a General Staff head," the press service said.

Earlier, Pashinyan filed the motion to appoint Davtyan as the new General Staff head for the second time. Once such motion is filed, the president must either sign it within three days of challenge it in the Constitutional Court.

Davtyan already served as the head of the General Staff between 2018 and June 2020, but was dismissed by the Prime Minister’s motion. Later, Pashinyan appointed Onik Gasparyan to this position. This Wednesday, Pashinyan stated that Gasparyan was dismissed, because the president failed to sign the motion or challenge it in the court within three days. Gasparyan said his resignation is unconstitutional and announced his intention to challenge it in the court. In the meantime, Sarkisyan asked the Constitutional Court to review the law "on military service" for compliance with the constitution. The opposition demands that Gasparyan keeps his position.

This political crisis in Armenia started on February 25, when Gasparyan and other senior military staff called for resignation of Pashinyan. The Prime Minister viewed such move as an armed coup attempt, and has already filed two motions to the president to dismiss the General Staff head.