Armen Sarkissian’s election as president of Armenia was mostly viewed as a positive step. Although, the public in general is indifferent toward the political processes and they do not have great expectations of any changes in their personal lives, yet, many are hopeful that Armen Sarkissian will try to eliminate the ruling oligarchic system, if not entirely, at least will be able control it to some extent.
In order to make a breakthrough, the newly-elected president must have power to influence the processes within the country. The powers of the president elected based on the new Constitution and by the National Assembly are much less than in the past, when the president was elected by popular vote. In recent weeks, by governmental decisions or the laws passed by the parliament, the president’s powers have been curtailed even further, whether in symbolic sense or in practical terms.
It was symbolic that the Presidential Palace on Baghramian 26, which served as presidential offices since independence, will become the Prime Minister’s headquarters after April. And on the practical grounds, the president was kept out of the National Security Council, the right to declare amnesty was passed to the prime minister and the prime minister was given the right to award state honors.
Responding to the question about reduced powers of the next president, Armen Sarkissian recently said: “You can lead by governing or you can govern by leading”
Armen Sarkissian accepted to shoulder the position of the president. knowing very well that he will not have the same power that previous presidents had. However, those who know him closely are convinced, that he is not ready to adapt to the roll of the ceremonial president, and regardless of the extent to which his powers are diminished he will try to govern by leading.