Washington is concerned about the assassination attempt on the presidential candidate of Armenia Paruyr Hayrikian, the U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said at a press conference.
"Obviously, we condemn this violence. We understand that Paruyr Hairikyan is in stable condition now and that the Armenian police have promised a full investigation," Nuland said.
Speaking of the possible postponement of presidential elections in Armenia scheduled for February 18, Nuland said the United States "call on Armenians to settle this constitutionally in a way that ensures that these elections go forward in a way that is free and fair and protects the rights of all candidates".
On Thursday, the candidate for presidency of Armenia, Paruyr Hayrikyan was shot in the shoulder on Tpagrichneri Street (Pechatniki) in the centre of Yerevan, where his parents reside.
Legal proceedings were instituted under Article 34-305 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (attempted murder of a statesman, political or public figure committed for termination of his activities and shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of 10 to 15 years, or life imprisonment). A joint investigation group consisting of law enforcement officers and National Security Service employees has been created. The case is under the jurisdiction of the National Security Service.
According to the Constitution of Armenia, in the event of insurmountable obstacles for a candidate, the election of the president is postponed for two weeks.
The sixth Armenian presidential election will be held Feb.18 from 08:00 to 20:00 local time. The head of state is elected for five years.
Those running for the presidency are the incumbent president and ruling Republican Party leader Serzh Sargsyan, former Prime Minister Grant Bagratyan, chairman of the Heritage Party Raffi Hovhannisyan, Paruyr Hayrikyan, Arman Melikyan, Andrias Ghukasyan, Vardan Setrakyan and the leader of the National Accord Party Aram Harutyunyan.