[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
join our mailing list