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Armenian presidential candidate goes on indefinite hunger strike

Armenia Materials 15 January 2013 20:14
Armenian presidential candidate Andreas Ghukasyan announced an indefinite hunger strike, Armenia Today said on Tuesday.
Armenian presidential candidate goes on indefinite hunger strike

Armenian presidential candidate Andreas Ghukasyan announced an indefinite hunger strike, Armenia Today said on Tuesday.

Ghukasyan appealed to the CEC Chairman Tigran Mukuchyanu regarding free elections in the country and declared a hunger strike.

"Although it is not provided in the Electoral Code that presidential elections are to be free, they must be so in order to be considered authentic. Public distrust of elections nullifies the will of the people as the foundation of power", Ghukasian stated.

According to him, Armenian citizens still do not have the necessary information surrounding the state's positive obligations with respect to the full realization of their voting rights.

Since international obligations of the State on holding free and real elections are not clearly stated in law, the rights of citizens are not guaranteed, and their actualization is entirely dependent on the willingness of the ruling party, Ghukasyan wrote in a statement.

"There can be no democracy when the will of the people reflected in election protocols contradict the position of the majority. This is about pseudo-democracy and rigged elections. I believe that in this political environment, the higher public's right to free choice may be exercised only in case of the exception of candidates from the ruling party from participation in elections," the statement said.

Elections will be held on February 18, 2013. The election campaign will begin on January 21 and last until 24:00 on February 16.

Those running for the presidency are the incumbent president and ruling Republican Party leader-Serzh Sargsyan, the former prime minister and leader of the Freedom Party Grant Bagratyan, ex-Foreign Minister and chairman of the Heritage Party Raffi Hovhannisyan, Paruyr Hayrikyan, Arman Melikyan, Andreas Ghukasyan Vardan Setrakian and leader of the National Accord Aram Harutyunyan.

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