President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia has resigned. He issued a respective statement, whose unofficial English text is as follows:
"In the early 1990s, as a result of great geopolitical changes, our people were given the greatest opportunity to create their own independent state. Our mission was not to replace one flag with another, but to build a country that would ensure the security, progress, and prosperity of Armenians again centuries later.
I emphasize: the main meaning of the existence of an independent state is the ability to assume and bear responsibility, when we ourselves realize that we are the only one, the one body, the builder of our own victories and the culprit of our own defeats.
Encouraged by such a historic opportunity, I, like many of my compatriots, dedicated myself to that mission. For various reasons, the activeness of my participation at various stages was changing, but I did not stop believing in our ultimate national success. And that was my main motivation for agreeing to the proposal to hold the Office of the President of Armenia.
Making this important decision, I proceeded from the proposal made to me, according to which the new presidential institution will have tools and opportunities to influence foreign and economic policy, investment policy, relations with the Diaspora, as well as to promote national interests in the international arena and to create a new scientific, educational, and high-tech environment.
Some time later, the April-May 2018 events took place ...
A question might rise: Why did I not resign at that moment? The answer is obvious: because of the responsibility I had taken on as President of the Republic. I was obliged to do everything in my power to exclude further deepening of the internal division, possible clashes, which could lead to extremely negative consequences. I also sought to use the reputation, connections, and my international political and economic potential gained through many years of work to build a strong and stable state.
Again, a question may arise: Why the President failed to influence the political events that led us to the current national crisis. The reason is obvious again: the lack of appropriate tools, tools with which any state official is endowed with only one document: the Constitution. The roots of some of our important problems are hidden in the current Basic Law.
We have a paradoxical situation when the President has to be a guarantor of statehood without actually having any real tools. The Constitution also presupposes the supremacy of one institution over another, creates obstacles for prominent Diaspora professionals to participate in the management of state institutions of the historical Homeland, and so on.
We are a parliamentary republic in form, but not in content. The meaning and purpose of my proposal was not to move from one form of government to another (from parliamentary to semi-presidential or presidential), but to create a state system based on restraint and checks and balances. Without it, it is difficult to talk about significant achievements, as progress and success can be achieved only in a predictable and harmonious system.
I am glad that a commission for constitutional amendments has been set up, for which I thank the government. I hope that eventually the constitutional amendments will take place and the next president and the presidential institution will be able to work in a more balanced and systematic environment.
We live in a unique reality, a reality where the President cannot influence matters of war and peace.
A reality, when he cannot veto the laws that he considers inexpedient for the state and the people.
A reality, when the President's opportunities are perceived not as an advantage for the state, but viewed as a danger by various political groups that is threatening them.
A reality where the President is unable to use most of his potential to solve systemic domestic and foreign policy problems.
A reality where the world is in a constant turbulence zone, but the President does not have a constitutional tool to help his country.
A reality where the head of state and sometimes his family are targeted by various political groups. The latter are not so much interested in the achievements of the presidential institution for the benefit of the country as in my past, various conspiracy theories and myths. This "concern" for me also goes beyond morality—ultimately, directly affecting my health negatively.
I have thought for a long time and decided to resign from the post of the President of the Republic after working actively for about four years.
This decision is not emotional at all and stems from certain logic.
The President does not have the necessary tools to influence the radical processes of domestic and foreign policy in these difficult times for the country and the nation.
At this difficult phase for our state, when national unity is needed, the presidential institution should not be the target of gossip and conspiracy theories—thus diverting public attention from the most important issues.
Today, more than ever, we need meaningful, well-thought-out, balanced, and substantive action. Otherwise, we, the Armenians of the whole world, will not achieve the goal of our mission and will find ourselves in the margins of history.
We have no right to make mistakes anymore.
Finally, I would like to express my special gratitude to our citizens and our compatriots in the Diaspora for manifesting perseverance, endurance, patience, and courage in these difficult times for the country.
Special thanks to the soldiers and officers of our brave army, my homage to the families of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for our Motherland.
I also thank all the staff of the President of the Republic and my colleagues from state organizations—for effective joint work."