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Armenian President Armen Sarkissian Quits Over Lack Of Influence

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has announced his resignation, citing the inability of his office to influence policy during times of national crisis.

Sarkissian, president since 2018, was at the centre of a domestic political crisis last year that erupted in the wake of a war between Armenia and its longstanding rival Azerbaijan for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

He was involved in a standoff with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last year over a number of issues, including the dismissal of the head of the armed forces in the wake of the war and amid protests that brought thousands onto the streets of the Caucasus nation.

“This is not an emotionally-driven decision and it comes from a specific logic,” Sarkissian said on Sunday in a statement on his official website.

“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,” he said.

“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 – meaning that the role of prime minister is seen as more powerful.

The president’s statement did not refer directly to any particular events or issues.

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