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Wounded Armenia presidential candidate seeks poll delay

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A prominent candidate in Armenia's presidential election who was wounded in a gun attack last week has asked authorities to delay the poll, his aide said on Sunday.

"We have just lodged a request with the Armenian Constitutional Court to delay presidential elections by two weeks," Paruyr Hayrikyan's aide told AFP.

"After the attempt on his life Hayrikyan was in hospital and could not participate in the election campaign," Vrezh Zatikyan said.

Armenia's presidential election is set for February 18 but doubts over whether it would take place as scheduled were raised when Hayrikyan was shot in the chest in the capital Yerevan on January 31.

Armenia's security service says it has arrested two men over the attack on the 63-year-old veteran politician and Soviet-era dissident.

Hayrikyan, head of the Union For National Self-Determination, initially said he would not seek a delay.

He later reconsidered, saying Armenian law allows polls to be postponed by two weeks if a candidate is deemed to have suffered an insurmountable obstacle.

Although a respected figure, Hayrikyan is not seen as a serious challenger to President Serzh Sarkisian who is tipped to win the eight-way race.

mkh-as/txw

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130210/wounded-armenia-presidential-candidate-seeks-poll-delay