When the votes are (again) finally counted and
either Robert Kocharyan or Stepan Demirchyan will
become Armenia's next President, what can the
winner expect from the republic and what can the
republic expect from its President?
Several international organizations published
material during this election to make those matters
clear to voters.
One of those, the International Foundation for
Election Systems (IFES), published extensive detail
on a president's rights and duties. We present
some of them here . . .
The President is immune from criminal proceedings
filed against him and cannot be forced to appear
in court, for example as a witness.
The President is supplied with:
- Office in Yerevan
- Residence in Yerevan with the appropriate
- State summerhouse in Sevan, Dilijan and Tsaghkadzor
- Special vehicle
- Specially equipped airplane and helicopter
- Personal physician
The President's family members are also entitled
to the same services and security.
After leaving the office the Government grants
a former President with a special pension at the
rate of 75 percent of the salary of an incumbent
President, (monthly salary is 200,00 dram, which
is about $350) with an apartment, State summerhouse
and a vehicle as well as with a furnished office.
The costs of foreign travels of the former President
not more than twice a year are paid by the Government.
Personal security is provided to a former President
for his entire lifetime.
The President has to declare his property and
income and their sources. He is required to fill
out the declaration not only while in office but
also for the five years following the end of his
The General leadership of the Government is executed
by the President, which ensures the normal functioning
of the executive branch.
- Both the president and the Prime Minister
have the right to present issues for review
by the Government and the sessions of the Government
are convened and led by the President or by
Prime Minister, on the instructions of the President.
- The President appoints and dismisses the
Prime Minister who heads the daily operation
of the Government and coordinates the Ministries
- The President accepts within a 20-day period,
the Government's resignation and appoints a
new Prime Minister and forms a new Government.
The President is a guarantor for independence
of judicial bodies.
- The Justice in the republic is administrated
only by the courts. He forms and heads ex-officio,
the Council of Justice, appoints or dismisses
a Prosecutor General on the Prime Minister's
- The Constitutional Court that consists of
nine members, five of which are appointed by
the National Assembly and four by the President.
- Based on the conclusion of the Constitutional
Court the President can terminate the powers
of the Constitutional Court members appointed
by him or to give consent that they be arrested
or brought to administrative or criminal justice
The President is the guarantor of independence,
territorial integrity and security of the Republic.
- The president is the Commander-in-chief of
the armed forces. He appoints the top-ranking
commanding officers of the armed forces.
- At the suggestion of the head of authorized
body, appoints and dismisses the commander of
frontier troops that operate within the system
of the Ministry of national Security and the
commander of the interior troops that operates
within the system of the Police.
- In time of peace coordinates the activities
of the State bodies in the field of defense
exercising purely political leadership of the
armed forces. The Government is in charge of
the army formation issues, whereas the Defense
Minister exercises a day-to-day command of the
- The President is declaring martial law and
announcing a military draft.
The President represents the Republic of Armenia
in international relations as a sovereign and
- He exercises the overall supervision of foreign
policy, whereas the Government ensures the implementation
of the policy.
- The President personally issues instructions
of the key issues to the Ministry of Foreign
The President has the rights to conduct negotiations
on international agreements and to sign them.
All inter-governmental agreements are subject
to ratification by the President, with the exception
the agreements that:
- Deals with receiving or giving loans, credits
and guarantees or that brings forth immediate
financial liabilities for the Republic of Armenia
- Contain norms that conflict with the republic
of Armenia laws that entail the amending of
the Republic of Armenia laws or the passage
of those laws.
The above inter-governmental agreements are subject
to ratification by the National Assembly.
Communication between the President and the National
Rights of the President.
- To initiate and to announce a referendum on
adopting or amending the Constitution
- To sign and veto laws
- To convene an extraordinary session of the
- To dissolve the National Assembly (except
during within one year after the election, within
the last six months of the President's tenure,
when martial law has been imposed, when the
process of impeachment of the President has
- To convey a speech to the National Assembly
National Assembly is vested with a number of
powers that enable it to exercise direct or indirect
control over the President's activities, including
- Giving a vote of no confidence to the Government
- Not passing the draft laws submitted by the
Government and approved by the President
- Not giving an approval to the draft Constitution
or constitutional amendments submitted by the
- Not ratifying the international agreements
that have been sighed by the President or the
- Refusing to endorse the candidates nominated
by the President for the positions of the Central
Bank Chairman and deputy Chairman
- Starting the impeachment of the President
for high treason or for another serious crime
(Compiled by ArmeniaNow reporter Julia