Health status of Armenian presidential candidate on hunger strike can result in postponement of elections

Health status of Armenian presidential candidate on hunger strike can result in postponement of elections

It is possible that the health status of presidential candidate on hunger strike Andreas Ghukasyan may cause an appeal to the Constitutional Court demanding the postponement of the presidential elections, Ghukasyan's spokesman Armen Grigoryan said at a press conference on Tuesday, Armenia Today reported.

However, Grigoryan said that Ghukasyan is not pursuing such a goal. He stressed that of all the presidential candidates, only Paruyr Hayrikian who was subjected to an assassination attempt had a real opportunity to appeal to the Constitutional Court with such a demand. Grigoryan considered Hayrikian's address to candidates a situational statement. He noted that Ghukasyan appealed to Hayrikian with a request to demand announcement of new election date only for the sake of forming a new political situation.

"We are going to continue the fight, Andreas Ghukasyan will continue hunger strike and we will fight by new methods," Grigoryan said. He stressed that health status of Ghukasian, who has been starving for 16 days, is now normal, but it is unknown how long this will last. "I do not rule out that his health could really become an insurmountable obstacle, not to mention how the hunger strike will affect his health in general," Ghukasian's spokesman said, adding that the candidate went through a medical examination, and the results will be revealed soon.

Responding to a question as to whether Ghukasian's hunger strike lead to any reaction from the international community, Grigoryan said that the candidate is visited by representatives of embassies, who are interested in state of his health, but international organizations have not reacted in any way to Ghukasian's moves.

He said that prior to announcing hunger strike Andreas Ghukasyan demanded that international observers leave the country and his demands and positions were presented to representatives of international organizations. However, no meetings were conducted afterwards.

Grigoryan also noted that Ghukasian's staff has not conducted any research on the strike's impact on his ranking.

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.

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