Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has announced his resignation, citing the inability of his office to influence policy during times of national crisis.
“I have been thinking for a long time, I have decided to resign from the post of the President of the Republic after working actively for about four years,” Sarkissian said in a statement published on the president’s official website.
“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 … – the Constitution. The roots of some of our potential problems are hidden in the current Basic Law.”
“The president does not have the necessary tools to influence the important processes of foreign and domestic policy in difficult times for the people and the country,” said the outgoing president
Sarkissian assumed office as the president in 2018 and was at the center of a domestic political crisis last year that erupted in the wake of a war between Armenia and its long-standing rival Azerbaijan for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“I hope that eventually the constitutional changes will be implemented and the next president and presidential administration will be able to operate in a more balanced environment,” he added.
After a referendum in December 2015, Armenia became a parliamentary republic, and presidential powers were significantly curtailed making the prime minister to be seen as more powerful. The Prime Minister Pashinyan has also been under pressure, with regular street protests demanding him to step down over the terms of the peace agreement. Under the 2020 deal brokered by Russia.
Since the Soviet collapse, Armenia’s economy has been struggling, with money sent by Armenians abroad aiding in the construction of schools, churches and other infrastructure projects.