- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 February 28, 2003 

To Uphold and Execute: The duties and privileges of the Presidency

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 services

  • 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 service.

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 activities.

  • 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 recommendation.

  • 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 through court.

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 troops

  • 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 independent country.

  • 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 Affairs.

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 Assembly.
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 National Assembly

  • 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 been started)

  • 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 President

  • Not ratifying the international agreements that have been sighed by the President or the Government

  • 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 Hakobyan)

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In the Name of the Father

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