March 18, 2021 - 11:51 AMT
Chief of Army Staff's dismissal remains in force, PM's office says

Onik Gasparyan remains relieved from the duties of the Chief of the Army General Staff despite a court decision to keep him in his post until a final court decision in his case, the Armenian Prime Minister's office said in a statement Thursday, March 18.

The country's administrative court on Wednesday ruled in favor of Gasparyan who had demanded to suspend his dismissal, until a final decision is made.

After the country's top military brass demanded Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's resignation in late February, the PM said he had already dismissed the chief of the Army General Staff. On March 2, President Armen Sarkissian decided to not sign a draft decree on Gasparyan's dismissal, but did not send the proposal to the Constitutional Court either, thus paving the way for his dismissal by what officials described as "force of law".

The Administrative Court has ruled in favor of Gasparyan who had asked the judicial authorities to approve a petition on recognizing "the absence of a legal basis for the dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces by force of law." The Court has thus decided that Gasparyan should continue his role as the Chief of the Armenian Army Staff, until the Court makes a final decision on the matter.

According to the Prime Minister's staff, however, the Constitution does not envisage the possibility of reversing an act that has come into effect by the force of the constitutional norm.

"Gasparyan remains dismissed and the process of appointing a new Chief of General Staff continues," the statement reads.