An opposition presidential candidate recovering after suffering a gunshot wound in what was apparently an attempted assassination last week says he has been on painkillers since yesterday after his health condition deteriorated – a factor that potentially puts the February 18 election at risk again. Paruyr Hayrikyan, a Soviet-era dissident who currently heads a moderate opposition party, National Self-Determination Union, was hospitalized shortly after being attacked by a yet unidentified gunman on January 31. He subsequently refused to use the opportunity granted by the Armenian Constitution to ask the highest court for a two-week postponement of the ballot due to an “insurmountable obstacle” to his campaign, saying that while it would be a legitimate demand, he did not want to undermine the democratic electoral process.
Hayrikyan told ArmeniaNow on Thursday that he has experienced acute pain since last night, with his right side weakened considerably, to the extent that he cannot even hold a pen.
“I’d be ashamed to say I feel bad, but I can’t say I feel good. Since yesterday I’ve felt such acute ache that I even agreed to take painkillers, but they don’t help,” said Hayrikyan, articulating words with difficulty.
Hayrikyan, 63, who is now at a Yerevan hospital, went out for several hours on Wednesday to attend a memorial service for his mother who died late last year. He also went out for several hours on Tuesday to attend a press conference at which he announced his decision related to the upcoming ballot.
“Apparently, I shouldn’t have left the hospital so soon. I simply didn’t imagine I would be so bad and even would be bound to bed,” said Hayrikyan, adding that he was now in hospital, under constant medical supervision.