President Armen Sarkissian’s resignation dominates almost all headlines in the Armenian news media. One question raised is whether now is the proper time to trigger another crisis. After all, Armenia has been experiencing an extended period of unrest since the recent war and faces the most challenging problems in dealing with a stubborn enemy.
In addition, Armenia is facing another challenge — an own-goal of sorts — with the prospect of negotiating with Turkey to tackle century-old issues.
President Sarkissian must have considered the above problems, but they still did not deter him from submitting his resignation.
The president has cited several reasons for his decision, which may not reveal the entire truth. It would be redundant to quote all those reasons cited in his resignation statement, as they have been fully covered by the media.
One of the major complaints was the constitutional limitation of the presidential office, allowing the president only a limited role in carrying out protocol. Even those functions were sometimes taken over by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – for example, the prime minister’s eulogy at Charles Aznavour’s funeral in Paris in 2018, where French President Emmanuel Macron was the other speaker.
Sarkissian has complained about the “lack of tools to perform a significant role in the state.”