Armen Sarkissian (courtesy president.am)

President Armen Sarkissian Resigns

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YEREVAN (president.am) — President Armenia Sarkissian of Armenia announced his resignation on January 23 in a statement on the official presidential website, which is reproduced as follows.

 

In the early 1990s, due to major geopolitical changes, our people had 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 once 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 builders of our victories and culprits of our defeats.

Enthused by such a historic opportunity, like many of my compatriots, I dedicated myself to that mission. For various reasons, the activity of my participation at various stages changed, but I did not stop believing in our ultimate national success. And that was my chief motivation to accept 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 would have tools and opportunities to influence foreign political, economic, and investment policy, and relations with the Diaspora, as well as to promote national interests in the international arena, and shape a new scientific-educational and high-tech environment.

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Some time later, the April-May events of 2018 took place…

A question may arise why I did 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 the further deepening of internal division and possible clashes, which could have extremely negative consequences. I also sought to use the prestige and connections gained through my work of many years, and my international political-economic potential, to build a strong and stable state.

Again, a 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 that any state official has with only one document – the Constitution. The roots of some of our significant problems are hidden in the current Basic Law.

We have a paradoxical situation when the President has to be the guarantor of statehood without actually having any real tools. 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 in their historical Homeland, etc.

We are a parliamentary republic in form, but not in 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 and success can be achieved only in the conditions of a predictable and 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 cannot influence matters of war or peace.

A reality, when he cannot veto the laws he considers inexpedient for the state and the people.

A reality, when the President’s opportunities are perceived not as an advantage for the state, but as a threat by various political groups.

A reality where the President is unable to use most of his potential to solve systemic domestic and foreign policy problems.

A reality where the world is in a constant turbulence zone, but the President does not have a constitutional tool to help his country.

A reality where the head of the state and sometimes his family are targeted by various political groups. They are not so much interested in the achievements of the presidential institution for the benefit of the country, as in my past, various conspiracy theories, and myths. This “concern” for me goes beyond morality, ultimately directly affecting my health.

I have been thinking for a long time and I have decided to resign from the post of the President of the Republic after working actively for about four years.

That decision is not emotional at all, and it follows a certain logic.|

The President does not have the necessary tools to influence the radical processes of domestic and foreign policy in these difficult times for the country and the nation.

At this difficult time for our state, when national unity is needed, the presidential institution should not be the target of gossip and conspiracy theories, thus diverting public attention from the most important issues.

Today, more than ever, we need meaningful, deeply thought out, and carefully considered actions. Otherwise, we, the Armenians of the whole world, will not achieve the goal of our mission, we will find ourselves in the margins of history.

We have no right to make mistakes anymore!

In the end, I would like to express my special gratitude to our citizens, our compatriots in the Diaspora, for their perseverance, endurance, patience, and courage in these difficult times for the country.

Special thanks to the soldiers and officers of our brave army, my homage to the families of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for our Motherland.

I also thank all the employees of the Office of the President of the Republic and my colleagues in the state structures for efficient joint work.

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