Armenian presidential candidate survives assassination attempt

By bne IntelliNews February 1, 2013

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Armenian presidential candidate Paruir Airikyan is recovering in hospital after an assassination attempt on January 31. The motive for the attack is not known.

Airikyan was attacked in Yerevan's Tpagrichneri Street late on January 31, and received a gunshot wound in his shoulder. He is now in a stable condition in hospital, RIA Novosti reports. An investigation into the attack on Airikyan, the leader of the National Self-Determination party, has been launched.

Airikyan is one of eight candidates standing in Armenia's February 18 presidential elections, where incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan is widely expected to gain a second term in office.

The injured candidate appeared unlikely to present a great challenge. Itar-Tass reports that Airikyan was expected to gain around 4% of the vote, according to a poll carried out between January 15 and January 23. Until the attack, the pre-election campaign period, which opened on January 21, had been calm.

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