Attack on presidential candidate sought to create climate of fear in Armenia - party

Thursday's attempt to assassinate Armenian presidential candidate Paruir Airikyan, the leader of the National Union for Self-Determination, was directed against the authorities, Parliament Deputy Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov told journalists on Friday.

"It was a shot fired against the authorities and statehood. In my opinion, this assassination attempt benefited those who do not want Armenia to live in stability and security," he said.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun agrees that this attack was directed against Armenia's statehood.

"This crime targets our statehood and sovereignty. It was an attempt to create an environment of fear and danger. Law enforcement agencies must identify those who ordered and committed this crime," the party said in a statement on Friday.

Armenia's commissioner for human rights Karen Andriasyan, for his part, described the attack on Airikyan as a "provocation and a challenge to Armenian society."

Airikyan sustained a gunshot wound to his shoulder when he was attacked in central Yerevan last night.

Armenia's presidential election is due to take place on February 18.

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