Hayrikian Wants Elections Postponed

Hayrikian received a visit from President Sarkisian Friday

YEREVAN—Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian said on Friday that he expects a two-week postponement of Armenia’s February 18 presidential election because of the armed attack that left him seriously wounded.

At 11:30 Thursday evening Hayrikian was shot on his street by an unknown assailant.

Hayrikian was transported to the St. Gregory the Illuminator Hospital, where officials told Hetq.am that that at 11:55 p.m. Hayrikian was admitted with a gun shot wound to his right clavicle and after undergoing surgery was recuperating in the intensive care unit.

In an interview Friday with RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), Hayrikian also revealed details of the shooting that occurred outside his Yerevan home on Thursday night. He suggested that it might have been the work of unspecified “imperialist” forces in Russia.

Under the Armenian constitution, a presidential election must be postponed by two weeks if one of the candidates faces “insurmountable obstacles.” The constitution mandates the holding of a new election 40 days later if those obstacles are not eliminated during the two-week period.

“There are two options for postponing the election,” Hayrikian said. “One is [a delay of] 15 days, which I am forced to seek as I am unable [to campaign.] The other one is to organize new elections after another 40 days. I will strive to make sure that there are no extra 40 days because I too think that we are in the middle of the [electoral] process and we should complete it.”

Hayrikian said he discussed the matter with President Sarkisian when the latter visited him in hospital earlier in the day. “Those 15 days envisaged by law will automatically be enforced. Whether I like it or not, that will be the case,” he said.

Sarkisian cancelled a rally in Yerevan and decided not to air any campaign aids on Friday following an apparent attempt on the life of one of his election challengers.

He also strongly condemned the armed attack on Hayrikian, one of the three main opposition candidates, saying that it was aimed at disrupting Armenia’s upcoming presidential election.

A statement by his election campaign headquarters said the pre-election gathering was postponed indefinitely. It also announced that the presidential team withdrew campaign ads that were due to be aired by Armenian Public Television and private broadcasters on Friday.

“This despicable crime is directed not only against presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian, not only against statesman Paruyr Hayrikian but also against our statehood,” he told journalists immediately after the visit. “It is evident that those who are behind this crime aimed to influence the normal course of the elections.”

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5 Comments

  1. arto said:

    If the Russians wanted to kill this man he would not be breathing now. Besides, Russia’s man in Yerevan is Sarkissian and he is definitely going to win. It was someone from outside who wanted to derail Sarkissian’s easy victory. Very sad indeed that it happened but this man’s obvious anti-Russian bias is nauseating.

  2. Concerned Armenian said:

    This was most probably an assassination ordered by Western interests perhaps in collaboration with elements within Armenia’s political opposition. They basically shot one of their own in an attempt to incite unrest in the country ahead of the coming presidential election. The electoral process was proceeding too quietly, too peacefully and the incumbent president was assured to win. Therefore, something had to give. Anyway ask yourselves: who gains from unrest in Armenia? The answer is – the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance and their regional Turkic and Islamic friends.

    PS: There is also the possibility that this could have been a public relations stunt by Hayrikian and his followers.

  3. Dvo said:

    my dear armenians wake up dont judge to soon, this could be well planned by Hayrikian him self in order to gain media attention inclusief more votes from people more attention
    I am suprised becouse if somone really wanted him death he would be death on that same day he was shot.
    besides he recovered really fast.
    I am not saying this is true but this could be very likely that it happend this way all planned.
    Those people are not to bring wealth for our country but to make profit for them selfs
    Dont believe every bullshit they promise you those canidates they are after money and power.
    there are only 2 good cannidates in the presidency race which are Serj Sargsyan & Raffi Hovanisyan,

    one canidate is readey to starve to death and one canidate is readey to let him be shot
    In order to gain Media attention those are all planed

  4. Dvo said:

    Es marte Russerits szwuma pateratsrek hayastane arants russastani hetq, mi orwa metj Turkere mez amen komits ke hartsaqven,

  5. Armenian Patriot said:

    It was Putin LOL!

    No wait, Putin does not try to kill endangered species LOL!

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