YEREVAN, February 27. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has submitted again to President Armen Sarkissian the proposal to dismiss Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan, Pashinyan wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
"The President decided to send back to the Prime Minister a draft decree on dismissal of the chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces. This step does not contribute to solving the current situation. I am resending to the President the request to dismiss the chief of the General Staff, expecting it to be signed in accordance with the established procedure," he noted.
Earlier in the day, President Armen Sarkissian sent back to the prime minister his order to dismiss Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan, pointing out that the decree, according to lawyers, was unconstitutional. The president added that he was not supporting either of the political forces and that the current crisis cannot be solved with frequent reshuffles. After Pashinyan had re-submitted his proposal, the president has three days to either sign the decree or to appeal it at the Constitutional Court.
On February 25, mass rallies of Pashinyan’s supporters and critics began in Armenia after the General Staff of the Armed Forces had called for the resignation of prime minister and his cabinet. The statement was signed by Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan, his deputies and other military top brass. Pashinyan slammed the move as a military coup attempt and announced his decision to dismiss the General Staff chief. Armenian President Armen Sarkissian, who, under the Constitution, is in charge of appointing and dismissing the chief of the General Staff at the prime minister’s initiative, has not signed that order yet.