Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan will continue serving as the chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff until the expiration of an 8-day period, the General Staff said in a statement on Wednesday.
President Armen Sarkissian refused to sign a decree drafted by the prime minister to sack Onik Gasparyan for a second time on Tuesday. In a separate application, he asked the Constitutional Court to determine the compliance of the law of November 15, 2017 “On Military Service and Status of Military Servant” with the Constitution. But the decree was said to automatically enter into force in three days’ time under the law.
The statement shared by spokesman of the General Staff Samvel Asatryan said the president acted exclusively in line with the Constitution.
“Under Article 168 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court is not entitled to determine the compliance of the draft presidential decree with the Constitution or resolve the issue of the dismissal of the General Staff chief; that is, the president may apply to the Constitutional Court with a request to determine the compliance of the law of November 15, 2017 “On Military Service and Status of Military Servant” with the Constitution exclusively as the legal basis of the draft decree, and not in connections with its specific article or part of the law.
“The deadline for applying to the Constitutional Court is not defined at all by Article 139 (Part 2) of the Constitution and the related part. The deadline for the relevant terms is set by Part 3 of Article 35.1 of the law – 8 days after the return of the draft decree (grounds for dismissal, Part 3 of Article 40 of the law refers to the procedure of appointment).
“According to the statement, the president acted and expressed his intention to act exclusively in line with the Constitution.
“Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan will continue his service to the homeland and the people and remains the supreme military commander of the Armed Forces until the expiration of the 8-day term (after the president applies to the Constitutional Court, other deadlines come into force),” the statement reads.