Opposition presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian underwent what doctors described as successful surgery on Friday morning almost 12 hours after being shot and wounded in central Yerevan.
Gagik Manukian, a deputy director of the city’s Surb Grigor Lusavorich hospital where Hayrikian is being treated, said that surgeons removed a single bullet from his right shoulder. The operation “went well” and he is now slowly recovering from general anesthesia, Manukian told journalists.
Manukian also said that Hayrikian will remain in intensive care for the next few days. Asked how long his full recuperation will take, the doctor replied, “From at least seven to ten days.”
Hayrikian’s hospitalization raised questions about the holding of Armenia’s presidential election as planned on February 18. Under the Armenian constitution, the vote must be postponed by at least two weeks if one of the presidential candidates is faced with “insurmountable obstacles” to their campaign.
Levon Baghdasarian, a lawyer for Hayrikian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the veteran politician, who was a prominent dissident in Soviet times, will decide whether to demand such delay.
“We will hold a news conference on Monday and address this issue in detail,” Baghdasarian said. “Paruyr Hayrikian will make a decision depending on his health condition.”
None of the seven other election candidates as well as major Armenian political groups have called for a postponement of the presidential ballot so far.