Today, on April 9, 2018, the inauguration ceremony of the president of Armenia was held, during which Armen Sargsyan swore to “be loyal to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia”. The road to Sargsyan’s presidency, however, was full of violations of the Constitution of Armenia.
As per Article 124, Part 2 of the RA Constitution, only a person having held citizenship of only the Republic of Armenia for the preceding six years may be elected President of Armenia. We revealed that he was listed in the 2003-2012 records of the State Register of Voters of Great Britain. That is to say, Sargsyan stopped being a British citizen no earlier than 2012. Meanwhile, Hetq newspaper published documents of 2014, in which in front of Armen Sargsyan’s name it was marked “British citizenship”.
In order for Armen Sargsyan to have the right to be elected president of the Republic of Armenia, he should have held citizenship of only Armenia for the last 6 years. In other words, he should have stopped being a citizen of the UK at least until March 2, 2012.
Although Armen Sargsian insisted that he renounced his British citizenship in 2011 and despite his promises given to the opposition, Armen Sargsyan has not presented any document that would prove that he has not been a citizen of Great Britain for more than 6 years.
The Reference Letter
In order to be nominated the president of Armenia, Armen Sargsyan was required to provide a reference letter stating that he “has been the citizen of only the Republic of Armenia for the last 6 years”. He received this document from the RA Police Passport and Visa Department.
The Police Passport and Visa Department, in its turn, relied on the data available in the State Register of Population, while the information on Armen Sargsyan’s British citizenship could be found in the registry only if Armen Sargsyan had informed about it. Armen Sargsyan, violating Article 7 of the RA Law on the State Register of the Population, did not inform the RA Police about his foreign citizenship. Or maybe he had informed about it and then further informed that he no longer held the citizenship and that is how he obtained the reference letter stating his Armenian citizenship for the past 6 years.
Since the Passport and Visa department, neither sent inquiries to the UK nor attempted to check Armen Sargsyan’s foreign citizenship over the past 6 years or the fact that he had been hiding it, the presidential candidate of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) received “a reference letter stating only his citizenship of Armenia for the last 6 years”․
By Public Voting
Armen Sargsyan was elected President on March 2, 2018 by the National Assembly.
As per Chapter 5, Article 125 of the 2015 Constitution, the National Assembly elects the President of the Republic of Armenia.
Meanwhile, Article 209 of the Constitution states that “Chapters 5-8, 12-15 enter into force the day the newly elected President of the Republic of Armenia assumes the office. Until then, the relevant provisions of the 2005 Constitution with amendments continue to act.”
Meanwhile, as per Article 50 of the 2005 Constitution “the President of the Republic is elected by the citizens of the Republic of Armenia.” In other words, on April 9, 2018, the president should have been elected not by the National Assembly, but by citizens as it was before.
All the abovementioned is, of course, a serious basis for appealing the results of the RA presidential election in the RA Constitutional Court.
As per Chapter 7, Article 168 of the RA Constitution, in the disputes related to the decisions made on the results of the presidential elections, the factions of the National Assembly may appeal to the Constitutional Court.
However, those provisions of the Constitution, pursuant to Article 209 of the same Constitution, shall enter into force “the day the newly elected President assumes office. Until then, the relevant provisions of the 2005 Constitution with amendments continue to act.”
That is, the results of the presidential election held before April 9, 2018 may be challenged by other candidates (as envisaged by the 2005 Constitution). And since the opposition failed to nominate a candidate in this election, and Armen Sargsyan remained the only candidate, his election became undisputed, regardless of the number and nature of violations recorded in the elections.
P.S. It should be added that Armen Sargsyan had previously violated the RA Constitution and the Law on Citizenship, which in 2005 and 2007 respectively banned Armenian citizens from having foreign citizenship, whereas Sargsyan has had a British citizenship at least since 2003.