The Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, today expressed his grave concern over the over the shooting yesterday in Yerevan of Paruyr Hayrikyan, a candidate in Armenia's upcoming presidential election.
"This attack is deeply distressing in view of the electoral process already underway, and I urge all stakeholders to refrain from any actions that might further aggravate the situation," said Lenarčič. "We also urge the relevant authorities to pursue a robust investigation of this crime and prosecution of the perpetrators."
Lenarčič added that all concerned should ensure that the electoral process remains peaceful.
Hayrikyan, was shot and wounded by unknown assailants on the evening of 31 January and is reportedly currently in hospital in stable condition. Lenarčič expressed hope for his quick recovery.
The Election Observation Mission deployed by ODIHR to observe the 18 February election is in contact with the relevant state authorities, as well as Hayrikyan's campaign headquarters, and continues to follow developments in the case. As part of its established observation activities, the Mission will follow and report on any relevant issues that impact the electoral process.