OSCE ODIHR expresses concern over shooting of presidential candidate

Photo: OSCE ODIHR expresses concern over shooting of presidential candidate / Armenia

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 1 /Trend, E. Tariverdiyeva/

The Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Ambassador Janez Lenarcic today expressed his grave concern over the shooting of a candidate in Armenia's upcoming presidential election Paruyr Hayrikyan yesterday in Yerevan, the organization's website reported on Friday.

"This attack is deeply distressing especially with the electoral process already underway, I urge all stakeholders to refrain from any actions that might further aggravate the situation," Lenarcic said.

He also called on relevant authorities to pursue a robust investigation of this crime and to prosecute the perpetrators.

Lenarcic added that all those concerned should ensure that the electoral process remains peaceful.

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 punishable with imprisonment for a term of 10 to 15 years, or life). A joint investigation group consisting of law enforcement officers and the National Security Service has been launched. 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, a presidential election will be postponed for two weeks.

The Armenian presidential election will be held on Feb. 18 from 08:00 to 20:00 local time. These will be the sixth elections in Armenia's history. The president is elected for a term of 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, Andreas Ghukasyan, Vardan Setrakyan and the leader of the National Accord Party Aram Harutyunyan.

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