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The Journal Gazette

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2013, Paruir Airikian, candidate for the Armenian presidency, attends a news conference in Yerevan, Armenia. The longshot candidate for the Armenian presidency was shot in the chest by an unidentified gunman late Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 officials said. He was hospitalized in stable condition as police searched for the shooter, while the speaker of parliament suggested the election could be delayed. (AP Photo/, Arsen Sarkisyan)

Friday, February 08, 2013 11:16 am

Armenia holds 2 in attack on presidential hopeful

The Associated Press

Armenia's National Security Agency has arrested it has arrested two suspects in the shooting of a presidential candidate, it announced Friday.

Paruir Airikian, one of eight candidates in the Feb. 18 election, was shot and wounded by an unidentified assailant near his home in the Armenian capital a week ago.

The agency said the suspects arrested Thursday confessed to participating in the attack. Investigators are still looking into motives behind the shooting, it said, but gave no further details.

The attack on Airikian has thrown the election campaign into disarray, raising the possibility that the vote could be postponed.

Armenia's constitution calls for a presidential election to be postponed for 15 days if a candidate cannot take part due to circumstances beyond his control.

Airikian's lawyer said this week that the candidate would not seek such a postponement, but Airikian said Friday he intended to ask the constitutional court to push back the date by two weeks.