[QODLink]
Europe

Armenia presidential hopeful shot in capital

Paruyr Hayrikyan has been wounded by unknown gunmen in Yerevan, in an attack that could delay February's elections.
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2013 02:52
Hayrikyan, a former dissident, is leader of moderate opposition party, National Self-Determination Union [Al Jazeera]

An Armenian presidential candidate has been shot and wounded by unknown gunmen in the capital Yerevan, police said, in an attack that could delay February's election.

"It will depend on Paruir Airikian's condition whether the election will be postponed or not"

- Hovik Abrahamyan, 
Parliamentary speaker

Paruyr Hayrikyan, whose life was not in danger after Thursday's shooting, is one of eight candidates running in the February 18 vote, but is not seen as a strong challenger to Serzh Sarksyan, who is expected to be re-elected for a second five-year term.

However, according to Armenia's constitution, the election could be postponed by two weeks if a candidate is unable to campaign or run. In the event of a candidate's death, a new election is called, to be held within 40 days.

The 2008 presidential election in Armenia - a landlocked ex-Soviet republic of 3.2 million that is Russia's main ally in the South Caucasus - were marred by violent clashes between opposition protesters and police.

"Those, who did it, wanted to destabilise the situation in the country, but they failed," Hovik Abrahamyan, the parliamentary speaker, told reporters.

"It will depend on Paruyr Hayrikyan's condition whether the election will be postponed or not," he said.

'Two shots fired'

Armenian Shans TV reported that gunmen fired two shots, wounding Hayrikyan with a bullet to his shoulder, in the
courtyard of his house in the centre of the capital.

He was taken to hospital after his neighbours, who heard shots and found him, called police and an ambulance.

"[Unknown gunmen] were shooting at the presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan ... Doctors say his life is not in
danger," Vladimir Gasparyan, the head of the country's police department, told reporters at the hospital in comments aired by Shans TV.

Hayrikyan, 63, a former dissident, is the leader of a moderate opposition party, the National Self-Determination Union.

357

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Grass-roots campaigns for female candidates are making an impact in India's first nationwide elections since 2009.
join our mailing list