Armenian Prez, PM at odds over new army chief’s appointment

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has rejected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s motion on appointing a new Chief of the Army’s General Staff.

A statement issued on Thursday by the President’s office said that Sarkissian returned the motion with objections, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office said that they have already re-submitted the motion to the President after the rejection.

The incident came amid rising tension between the Prime Minister and President on sacking former army chief Onik Gasparyan.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Gasparyan was dismissed because the President neither signed his dismissal order nor did he apply to the constitutional court within the deadline prescribed by law.

Meanwhile, Pashinyan appointed Artak Davtyan as the new Armt chief and sent the motion to the President.

Previously, Pashinyan submitted a second request to Sarkissian on February 27 to seek the dismissal of Gasparyan shortly after the President refused to sign the request and said the motion to fire the military chief is unconstitutional.

On February 25, Pashinyan dismissed Gasparyan and sent the motion to the President, accusing him of attempting a military coup.

Earlier that day, Gasparyan, his deputies and dozens of top military commanders had signed a statement, demanding Pashinyan and his cabinet resign.