Armenia's former defence minister Lieutenant-General Vagarshak Arutyunan has been stripped of his military rank, the Armenian presidential press-service reported.
An appropriate decree was signed by Robert Kocharyan, the president of the country and commander-in-chief of Armenia's armed forces. It follows "a conduct disgraceful to the dignity and honour of the military rank of top officers".
The Armenian opposition rushed to state that the president "decided to take revenge" on Arutyunan for calls to replace power in the country. Arutyunan is an active member of the opposition Republic party, one of whose leaders is former government member Aram Sarkisyan, the brother of prime minister Vazghen Sarkisyan, who died in a terrorist act on October 27, 1999.