An Armenian presidential candidate who was shot last month cancelled an application to postpone next week’s election, a Constitutional Court spokesman said on Monday, paving the way for the vote to be held as scheduled. Paruyr Hayrikyan, an outsider in the race which is widely expected to see current President Serzh Sarksyan win a new five-year term, was shot in the shoulder on January 31 near his home in the capital Yerevan. Hayrikyan, who had initially said he would not delay the vote, asked the Constitutional Court for a two-week postponement of the February 18 poll, raising concerns over instability in the former Soviet republic of 3.2 million.
“Paruyr Hayrikyan’s lawyer took his application to the Constitutional Court back today,” Hovhannes Papikyan, the court’s spokesman, told Reuters. “Hayrikyan or other candidates have no right now to appeal the court with a request to delay the vote,” he added. It was not immediately clear why Hayrikyan had withdrawn his application for a postponement of the vote.
The land-locked south Caucasus country, bordered by foes Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as by Iran and Georgia, saw violence flare ahead of a 2008 presidential election, leaving 10 people dead.
Doctors have removed the bullet from Hayrikyan’s shoulder and said his life was not in danger, but he remained in hospital on Monday.