World Bulletin / News Desk
An Armenian presidential candidate was wounded by unknown gunmen in the capital Yerevan on Thursday night, police said, in an attack that could delay February's election.
Paruyr Hayrikyan, whose life was not in danger after the shooting, is one of eight candidates running in the Feb. 18 vote but is not seen as a strong challenger to Serzh Sarksyan, who is expected to be re-elected for a second five-year term.
However, according to Armenia's constitution, the election could be postponed by two weeks if a candidate is unable to campaign or run. In the event of a candidate's death, a new election is called, to be held within 40 days.
The 2008 presidential election in Armenia - a landlocked ex-Soviet republic of 3.2 million that is Russia's main ally in the South Caucasus - was marred by violent clashes between opposition protesters and police.
"Those, who did it, wanted to destabilise the situation in the country, but they failed," Hovik Abrahamyan, the parliamentary speaker, told reporters.
"It will depend on Paruyr Hayrikyan's condition whether the election will be postponed or not," he said.
Armenian Shans TV reported that gunmen fired two shots, wounding Hayrikyan with a bullet to his shoulder in the courtyard of his house at the centre of the capital.
He was taken to hospital after his neighbours, who heard shots and found him, called police and an ambulance.
"(Unknown gunmen) were shooting at the presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan ... Doctors say his life is not in danger," Vladimir Gasparyan, the head of the country's police department, told reporters at the hospital in comments aired by Shans TV.
Hayrikyan, 63, a former dissident, is the leader of a moderate opposition party, the National Selfdetermination Union.
State union with 300,000 employees could strike over pro-independence workers being sacked
Day after Philippines leader declares separation from US, ministers say was merely signaling stronger ties with neighbors
Three-year plan aims to promote relations between two foreign ministries
Islamabad court orders police to arrest PTI leader Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri over 2014 protests
Military gov’t earlier said sought to seize Yingluck Shinawatra's assets to repay debt accrued under gov't scheme
As China moves closer to Pakistan, Chinese forces hold joint drills with rival Indian forces in Kashmir
Rights group says officials citing security operations to deny access to area where violence has displaced Rohingya, others
Men taken to suspected drug hideout outside of Jakarta when they attacked officers with knife and tried to seize firearms
No tsunami alert issued for shallow earthquake in Tottori prefecture
Amnesty International says armed clashes, violence, worsened humanitarian situation for Rohingya and others
The government should return military-occupied land and disengage troops from civilian activities, a key demand of ethnic Tamils in the island's war-battered north.
"I announce my separation from the United States," he said to applause at a meeting in the Chinese capital.
Scores of teachers, students and workers were packed into the crowded boat when it capsized in the early hours of Saturday as it chugged along the Chindwin River.
'Lawin' - known internationally as Haima - 2nd typhoon to hit country in just 4 days
South Korea, US announce failure of latest North Korean missile test
Rescuers retrieve bodies of 2 Chinese engineers killed trying to save colleague trapped in mine