YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenian President Serge Sarkisian issued an order on Aug. 10, dissolving the administrative staff of the country’s National Security Council (NSC). The NSC, which is made up by Armenia’s Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament, Justice Minister, and top Defense and Law-enforcement officials, played a major role during the rule of President Levon Ter-Petrosian, but has been a largely ceremonial body since 1998, according to RFE/RL’s Armenian service, Azatutyun.am.
In a separate order issued on the same day, Sarkisian moved to upgrade the status of the council in line with the recent constitutional amendments in Armenia. The order makes changes in the statutes and structure of the presidential staff, which are meant to turn the advisory council into what the statement called a “decision-making body,” according to Azatutyun.am.
Political analyst Hakob Badalian told Azatutyun that the council’s new and bigger role could have important implications for Armenia’s governmental affairs. “The very fact that the NSC is being turned from an advisory into decision-making body… will certainly introduce new elements into intra-governmental relationships,” he told Azatutyun.am).
Badalian also suggested that Sarkisian’s move was triggered by the armed attack on a Yerevan police station in Yerevan, which resulted in a two-week standoff between law-enforcement authorities and opposition gunmen demanding the President’s resignation.