YEREVAN, February 12. /ARKA/. Armenian ministry of health suggested once again that presidential contender Andrias Ghukasyan (who is on his 23rd day of hunger strike) should undergo brief laboratory examination in a hospital. The candidate promised to make his mind up Tuesday, by 11:00 local time, Novosti-Armenia reported referring to the press service of the ministry of health.
Head of Radio Hay Andrias Ghukasyan has been on an indefinite hunger strike since January 21 demanding fair elections. According to the candidate, the upcoming vote is illegitimate as the ruling Republican Party of Armenia make use of the administrative resource.
On February 6, Ghukasyan’s health condition worsened in the morning: his blood pressure dropped and an ambulance was called. Now he is on round-the-clock medical observation near the Academy of Sciences in front of which he is holding his protest.
Monday first deputy minister of health Hayk Darbinyan, together with director of haematology centre Smbat Daghbashyan visited the hunger striker candidate after the results of his blood and urine laboratory tests were ready, according to the press service of the ministry of health.
Due to some deviations found in the lab tests the ministry of health representatives recommended again that Ghukasyan should agree to undergo brief laboratory and instrumental examination in any clinics he will choose. The candidate promised to announce his decision by 11 o’clock Tuesday, says the report.
The minister of health and the first deputy minister personally informed Ghukasyan that continuous hunger strike may lead to irreversible processes, which will be extremely difficult or even impossible to treat.
Armenian presidential elections are scheduled for February 18. Seven nominees are running for president: incumbent 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 and philologist Vardan Sedrakyan. –0-