Statement on non-compliance of Armen Sarkissian with the constitutional requirements for presidency

The Armenian Parliament, having discussed Armen Sarkissian’s candidacy as the President of Armenia, nominated by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, voted 90 to 10 on March 2, 2018 and elected him as the President of Armenia.

We, the undersigned, state that Armen Sarkissian failed to dispel the doubts regarding his citizenship. In particular, he does not meet the constitutional requirement solely holding the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia for the preceding six years. Despite public demand voiced in numerous platforms to publish documents on renouncing his citizenship as British national, Sarkissian submitted only a reference from RA Police Passport and Visa Department testifying his Armenian citizenry. It cannot substitute a document submitted by UK respective government bodies as the only authentic proof. In view of the lack of this document, public doubts on failure to meet citizenship requirement deepen, meanwhile manifesting Armen Sarkissian’s disdainful and disrespectful attitude toward the Constitution and the citizens of Armenia.

It should be remembered that Serzh Sargsyan, who came to power in 2008 through marred elections accompanied by at least 10 deaths and retained President’s office once again through falsified elections since 2013, pushed constitutional amendments in order to reproduce and strengthen his political party’s power and in 2015, through rigged constitutional referendum ensured stable majority of the Republican Party of Armenia in the Parliament. Therefore, it might seem rightful that against this backdrop the candidate nominated in the position of the President by the Republican Party of Armenia can afford to neglect the Constitutional requirements and find himself in the highest position at any expense.

We need to notice that the overwhelming majority of the MPs testifies that they do not respect the Constitution of Armenia and accordingly is guided not by the requirement of law but by political expediency of the moment according to their personal and clan parochial interests.

We state that the constitutional casus on the election of the President directly by the people or by the Parliament and the arbitrary interpretation of the constitutional norms question the constitutionality of the President of the Republic of Armenia. Furthermore, Armen Sarkissian elected by the majority of the MPs undertakes presidency in violation of the citizenship requirement stipulated by the Constitution of Armenia. Thus, he truly casts strong doubt on his legitimacy and puts under question his main function as the guarantor of the Constitution.  

Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Journalists’ Club “Asparez”
“Union of Informed Citizens” NGO
Open Society Foundations – Armenia
“For Equal Rights” NGO
Women’s Resource Center
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office
Helsinki Committee of Armenia
Women’s Resource Center
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation
Public Journalism Club
“Rights and Freedom Center” NGO
“Protection of Rights Without Borders” NGO
Yeghegnadzor Civic Youth Center
“Peace Dialogue” NGO
Condominium Development Association
Public Defender Association
“Center of Economic Right” NGO
“Helsinki Association” human rights NGO
“Sinjar” Yezidi National Union

The statement is open to join