With one of the candidates in the current presidential race in Armenia still recovering in hospital after surviving an assassination attempt, another one refuses to be hospitalized after doctors registered some deterioration of his health condition on Wednesday. Andrias Ghukasyan, a 42-year-old director of Radio Hay, has been camped outside the National Academy of Sciences building in central Yerevan since the start of the campaign on January 21, refusing to take food and demanding that incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan be disqualified from the race and international observers discontinue their mission and leave Armenia. Responding to an emergency call on Wednesday, ambulance service doctors examined Ghukasyan, registering a drop in his blood pressure. The candidate, however, refused to go to hospital and said he was determined to continue his hunger strike until February 18 – Election Day.
International media, such as Associated Press, also focused on concerns over Ghukasyan’s health in their coverage of the Armenia elections.
Any emergency like the attempt on candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan’s life on January 31 would again call into question the integrity of the current electoral process in Armenia where officials give assurances of their intention to hold the nation’s best election ever.
Meanwhile, President Sargsyan continued his reelection campaign by holding more meetings with voters in the regions.
On Wednesday, the top presidential candidate visited the Armavir province, where he met with voters in the areas of Echmiadzin, Armavir and Baghramyan.