Armenia: Is Election Date a Roll of the Dice? |

With less than ten days to go before Armenia’s February 18 presidential vote, Armenians still do not know for sure when, exactly, the election will take place. The reason is presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian, the victim of a January 31 shooting attack. By law, Hayrikian can ask the Constitutional Court to postpone the vote for two weeks to give him time to recover his health; a request he had previously indicated he would make. But on Tuesday, he decided against such a move. Then, late on Thursday, he changed his mind again. At last word, Hayrikian intended to file the request on February 8, but a spokesperson for the Constitutional Court told late in the day that it still had not heard from him. The Court will remain open over the weekend in case Hayrikian stands by his latest decision and requests a delay in the elections.

Armenia: No Change in Election Date, but Plenty of Speculation about the Reason Why |

In 1998, Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian ran for office with the slogan “Let’s not lose an historic moment.” Fifteen years later, he has a similar one: “The historic moment has come.” But many Armenian observers believe that, by not requesting an election delay after suffering from gunshot wounds, 63-year-old Hayrikian has lost his chance for “an historic moment.” Hayrikian, who was shot twice and wounded on January 31 by an unknown gunman in Yerevan, earlier had indicated that he would probably apply to the Constitutional Court for a two-week postponement in the vote; his right under Armenia’s constitution. But, when push came to shove, it was not to be. “[N]o act of terrorism should hold the power of disrupting the natural flow of political realities,” he commented, in a surprise appearance at a February 5 press-conference in Yerevan. “I have come simply to show my presence,” he said to explain his hospital exit.