YEREVAN, February 1. /ARKA/. Head of Armenia’s president administration Vigen Sargsyan said the yesterday’s assassination attempt on presidential nominee Hayrikyan during the election campaign has a political subtext, Novosti-Armenia reported.
Sargsyan visited the nominee in hospital and told journalists that Hayrikyan is not depressed and hangs in there.
Hayrikyan was shot in the shoulder in the center of Yerevan, Tpagrichneri street, where his parents live, around 23:30 yesterday. He is in a moderate condition now, doctors say.
Hayrikyan is the leader of National Self-Determination party and a well-known Soviet-time dissident. This is his fourth nomination for presidency: he ran for presidency in 1991, 1998 and 2003.
Some days ago Hayrikyan joined another candidate for president Andrias Ghukasyan’s hunger-strike for three days.
Hayrikyan says his chances are quite high in the vote. In his election campaign statements he often urges other nominees to consolidate their efforts.
Recently, Hayrikyan, together with two other presidential nominees, Raffi Hovhannisyan and Hrant Bagratyan, made a joint statement with a number of requirements to the authorities.
In particular, the candidates urged the authorities to publish a list of Armenian citizens having lived abroad for the last six months and not having a chance to vote. According to them, such a list will help exclude possible mass “ballot throw-ins”. Former foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh Arman Melikyan, who is also running for president, says this “triumvirate” gives occasion to meditate.
“Before each of these candidates could be considered separately on the political arena, but it is impossible from now on”, Melikyan said.
Armenia’s presidential elections are scheduled for February 18. Eight nominees are running for presidency: current president Serzh Sargsyan, former prime minister and leader of Freedom party Hrant Bagratyan, former foreign minister and head of Heritage party Raffi Hovhannisyan, famous Soviet dissident and leader of National Self-Determination party Paruyr Hayrikyan, ex foreign minister of Karabakh Arman Melikyan, political scientist and head of Radio Hay Andrias Ghukasyan, philologist Vardan Sedrakyan and leader of National Consent party Aram Harutinyan.
The election campaign has been quiet until today.
According to the results of the poll by Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization and the Armenian Sociological Association of January 15-23, Sargsyan is expected to gain 66% of the votes. Raffi Hovhannisyan will gain 10%, Hrant Bagratyan and Paruyr Hayrikyan 4% each, Aram Harutiunyan about 1%, and Andrias Ghukasyan, Vardan Sedrakyan and Arman Melikyan will not even get 1% of the votes, according to the poll results. -0-