YEREVAN, February 8 (RIA Novosti) – Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan, who was shot in the shoulder last week, said he plans to appeal to Armenia's Constitutional Court with a request to postpone the vote by two weeks.
“I will ask the court to delay the election if I am unable to continue the election campaign,” Hayrikyan said, adding that at present he cannot participate in the vote for health reasons.
Earlier this week, Hayrikyan said he had no intention of delaying the election, to avoid promoting further instability in the country. However, he later said he had changed his mind under pressure from his supporters.
Manya Ayvazyan, Hayrikyan's campaign manager, told RIA Novosti on Friday that the candidate wants his request to the Constitutional Court to be dated February 10.
If within four days - the period needed for the court to consider the request - Hayrikyan’s condition improves, the candidate will waive the request to postpone the election, she said.
The 63-year-old leader of the Union for National Self-Determination was shot near his house in the capital Yerevan late on January 31. The bullet was later safely removed during surgery.
Armenia’s Сonstitution states that elections can be delayed for two weeks if a candidate faces "insurmountable circumstances."
Such a delay would have to be initially requested by the candidate himself, and then it is up to the country’s Constitutional Court to decide on the issue, David Arutunyan, who chairs Armenia’s parliamentary commission on legal issues, said last week.
Hayrikyan is one of eight candidates running in Armenia’s presidential election on February 18, which analysts predict is likely to bring incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan back for a second term.
An opinion poll held in Armenia by the Russian state pollster VTsIOM in late January found that some 61 percent of respondents would back Sargsyan, while only five percent said they were ready to vote for Hayrikyan. Some 27 percent the respondents said they support Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian.