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Armenia

Injured Armenia Candidate Says Foreign Secret Service Behind Hit

Paruyr Hairikian speaks from his hospital bed in Yerevan.
Paruyr Hairikian speaks from his hospital bed in Yerevan.

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Armenian Presidential Candidate Shot In Yerevan

A candidate in Armenia's upcoming presidential election has been wounded in a shooting in Yerevan.
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By RFE/RL's Armenian Service
YEREVAN -- Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hairikian, who was shot and injured in the shoulder on January 31, says he suspects a secret service of a "former state" of being behind the attack.

Hairikian, who is receiving treatment in a Yerevan hospital, said in an interview with RFE/RL's Armenian Service that the service he referred to -- without naming it -- had chased him "for many years."   

"As for suspicions, I will tell you frankly that I suspect the secret service of a foreign state that chased me for many years," he said. "Not of that state, Russia, but of the former one."

Hairikian did not elaborate on his remark.

During the Soviet era, he spent a total of 11 years in Soviet prison camps and a further three in internal exile for his membership in a clandestine political organization and for authoring "samizdat."

Hairikian also said he might ask for a constitutionally allowed two-week postponement of the February 18 vote.

Armenia's constitution requires a two-week delay in the vote if a candidate is unable to participate because of circumstances beyond his or her control. If the issue causing the delay cannot be resolved, there could be a further 40-day postponement.

The 63-year-old politician was shot outside his house in Yerevan late on January 31. Police are still searching for the unidentified gunman.

Hairikian, who is 63, is one of eight candidates in the election, which incumbent Serzh Sarkisian is expected to win.

Hairikian, who heads the Union of National Self-Determination Party, was not seen as a strong challenger.
 
Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian condemned the attack as a blow against the government.

Sarkisian was one of several Armenian political leaders to visit Hairikian in hospital.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the attack.

Controversy and violence are no stranger to presidential elections in Armenia.

In 2008, 10 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters after Sarkisian was declared the winner.  

This year's election comes as Armenia's economy struggles to recover from the recent global financial crisis.  

Armenia also remains hobbled by a trade blockade imposed by neighboring Turkey and Azerbaijan since the 1990s war with Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
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by: Davidian from: USA
February 01, 2013 23:22
It is doubtful that the former Soviet KGB was after Hairikian, considering all the other opportunities they have had. However, it is in the interest of Azerbaijan to have their covert services go after any high-profile Armenian candidate, just to make the clean-looking election process look bad. Turkish interests are indirectly served, but to a lesser degree. Additionally, Azerbaijan could be sending a message to the Russians.
In Response

by: Ara from: Irevan
February 04, 2013 16:34
"clean-looking" and actually being clean are vastly different things. Perhaps this is not something you pick up on in the USA.

But it does not matter, Armenia is ruled by Russia and money from Armenians abroad. That’s why our country is falling apart, meanwhile these so called "Armenians" who's grandfathers ran away and have never stepped foot in Armenia dictate our corrupt government to continue warring with our neighbors instead of finding peace and raising our people (yes, actual Armenian people from Armenia, not Los Angeles) out of poverty. If you can’t see what this has lead to so far, let me make it clear for you, our economy is destroyed, our youth is leaving every day, our people have no fuel or food and have to dig for toots in winter. On top of that, our number one ally after our controlling state (Russia) is Iran. Is this the image of your motherland country you see in your dreams every night? Wake up!
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 05, 2013 10:40
Not necessary KGB - the "third force" that destroy all non-Russians to expand Russian Empire.
Rephrasing "Rose under any name...":
"Expanding Russian Empire under any name smell bad."
Even if Sarkisian is genuin Erevanian and Nairikian is Urartian from Karabah, Azerbaijan is very unlikely suspect.
If, however, it is another way around - Rusian "third force" would do it to prevent improvement of Georgia-Armenia-Azerbaijan relations.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 02, 2013 05:31
Difficult question, who is behind it, because the USSR rulers,
Russian imperial resurrectors started with Blshevic empire,
Than forged "third force" that devided into 2 sets of doers,
One for "Bolshevic Russian Empire", another for "Czars"
Or its capitalist versus - which Imperial doers shot him?
Who hate freedom more - Putin's or Brezhnev's team?

by: Concerned Armenian from: Diaspora
February 04, 2013 15:54
There is also always the possibility that Hayrikian's handlers in Washington had him shot to cause unrest ahead of the presidential elections, or perhaps to cast a negative light upon Vladimir Putin's impending visit to Armenia. Of course, there is also the possibility that this was the doing of someone in the Levon Petrosian camp.

Nevertheless, suggesting that what happened to him as the doing of Russians simply goes to show us just how mentally ill Hayrikian is.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 05, 2013 18:54
"Mentally ill" is not the Hairikian, but Russian KGB "neskladuha".
They tortured people in the past, using often the "psihushkas",
Using same argument - one is ill to oppose their "Gigantuha".
I do not mind if Armenia need good relation with "Rashkas".
In this case "Diaspora" is Russia, "oboroten's- chushkas"

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