President Sarkissian rejects proposal to dismiss Chief of the General Staff, returns the motion with objections

President Armen Sarkissian has returned has not signed the decree on dismissing Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and has returned the motion with objections.

On February 25, 2021, a motion on dismissing the Chief of the General Staff of the RA Armed Forces, Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan was submitted to the President of the Republic.

In connection with the proposal, the President of the Republic held consultation meetings with representatives of the government, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forces, the highest command staff of the Armed Forces.

The draft decree was studied in the Office of the President of the Republic, discussed in detail with leading lawyers and independent experts.

Summarizing the views of lawyers and experts, it can be concluded that the draft decree fundamentally contradicts the Constitution.

The President emphasized that he does not support any political force and makes decisions guided exclusively by national interests.

He added that “it is indisputable that the armed forces must remain neutral in political matters.”

“It is obvious that due to the war, the personnel of the Armed Forces need the support and attention of all of us more than ever. The solution of the problems of the army personnel is a priority, it cannot be neglected in any case,” Armen Sarkissian said.

“The current situation is unprecedented, requires systemic and comprehensive solutions and can not be resolved through frequent personnel changes, without taking into account the current situation in the country,” the President continued.

He reminded that the draft decree was submitted to the President of the Republic after the announcement of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, more than forty high-ranking military officials, in the state of martial law, political crisis and serious security challenges.

The President of the Republic, within the framework of his constitutional powers, returned the draft decree with objections.

“The President of the Republic pursues one goal – to protect the country from the threats to the constitutional order and security, to ensure the stability of the country, the normal operation of the armed forces,” President Sarkissian concluded.

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