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.
Warrant, third issued in connection with bombings that killed 4, for man from Muslim majority province of Pattani
The Uzbek president's daughter says her father is in the hospital with a brain hemorrhage.
Comes after over 170 Indonesians caught with Philippine passports before departing from Manila airport for Saudi Arabia
17-year-old held on suspicion of terror attack claims to be inspired by ISIL leader, attack by knifemen in France
Anti-mosquito breeding efforts intensifies as residents criticize government for not having detected infections earlier
Australian foreign minister says Kerry Wilson, 60, ‘safe and well’ 4 months after abduction in Jalalabad
Three people linked to 2009 assault on Sri Lankan cricket team die as gunmen open fire police convoy in Lahore
Presidential order repeated to destroy Daesh-linked group after Aug. 24 beheading of 18-year-old Filipino hostage
The five-day talks will bring hundreds of ethnic minority rebel leaders to the capital, along with military top brass and international delegates such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Royal held talks with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and said they would build several key partnerships by February.
50 heavily-armed members of Maute group raid local jail in southern city of Marawi, freeing suspected comrades and 20 others
Statement by reclusive state’s foreign ministry slams US and 'followers', accuses UNSC of threatening its right to exist
Senior police official says detention of senior independence figures is sign of crackdown
Police seize Mirwaiz Umar Farooq outside home, party member says
Ex-government, nationalists claim Rakhine State - home to country's Rohingya Muslims - national issue, not international