YEREVAN, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan, who was shot in the shoulder on January 31, has appealed to the country’s Constitutional Court with a request to postpone the election by two weeks.
Hayrikyan told journalists on Sunday he believes that the “Constitutional Court will not put itself in a ridiculous situation” by rejecting his request. However, experts believe the court is unlikely to support the move.
Armenia’s Constitution states that elections can be delayed for two weeks if a candidate faces "insurmountable circumstances." Such a delay would have to be initially requested by the candidate himself, and then it is up to the country’s Constitutional Court to decide on the issue.
The 63-year-old leader of the Union for National Self-Determination was shot near his house in the capital Yerevan late on January 31. The bullet was later safely removed during surgery.
After the attack, the wounded candidate gave interviews to journalists and even took part in several press conferences, making experts doubt whether Hayrikyan indeed faced "insurmountable circumstances" preventing him to carry out his election campaign.
Hayrikyan announced his plans on Friday to appeal to Armenia's Constitutional Court with a request to delay the vote, saying that his health condition did not allow him to participate in the election. He added that he would waive the request if within four days - the period needed for the court to consider the request - his condition improved.
The candidate earlier said he had no intention of delaying the election, to avoid promoting further instability in the country. However, he later changed his mind under pressure from his supporters.
Hayrikyan is one of eight candidates running in Armenia’s presidential election, scheduled for February 18, which analysts predict is likely to bring incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan back for a second term.
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