Armenian President challenges general staff chief's dismissal

Armenian President challenges general staff chief's dismissal

Armenian President Armen Sarkisyan challenged the law 'On military service and the status of servicemen' in light of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's initiative to dismiss General Staff Chief Onik Gasparyan, the presidential press service said on Wednesday.

"The president of the republic appealed to the Constitutional Court to determine whether the law 'On military service and the status of servicemen' is consistent with the constitution. The appeal is motivated by problems in the legislative enforcement practices sphere, which were trusted into the spotlight as a result of the prime minister's initiative to dismiss...Gasparyan, and consequent constitutional and legal processes," Sputnik cited the statement as saying.

Rulings of the Constitutional Court may have a significant impact on previously adopted decisions and further processes related to the interpretation and application of this law, Sarkissian's press service went on to say.

"The president hopes that a quick decision [of the Constitutional Court] will provide legal certainty and will contribute to settling the crisis", the statement read on.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said earlier in the day that Gasparyan was considered dismissed starting from 10 March.

"Taking into account the fact that the president of the Republic did not sign the draft decree that was submitted by the prime minister within the timeframe established by the law 'On military service and the status of servicemen' and did not appeal to the Constitutional Court,....the chief of the general staff of Armenia's armed forces, Onik Gasparyan, is relieved from office starting from March 10 by the force of law", Pashinyan said in a statement, released by the cabinet.

Sarkisyan had earlier refused to sign a decree on Gasparyan's dismissal.

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