February 11, 2013 - 17:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Though the shooting of Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan introduced an element of drama of the wrong kind, the pre-election atmosphere has been calm – even boring, Director of LINKS, the London Information Network on Conflicts and State-building and long time commentator on the Caucasus Region and European Security Issues, said.
“Understanding who was behind Hayrikyan’s assassination attempt, and why, is difficult to say. However I agree that this was not simply an attempt against a person but rather against a process,” Dennis Sammut said.
Dwelling on the election campaign, the expert noted that in 2012 there were two highly competitive elections in the South Caucasus: the parliamentary elections in Armenia in May, and in Georgia in October.
“They were competitive in both the style of campaigning, as well as in the participants. They were overall assessed positively, although there were some serious problems in both. Compared to these two elections the presidential election in Armenia this month is a much more subdued affair,” Mr Sammut said.
As for candidate Hayrikyan’s claims accusing “Russian imperialism” of the shooting, the expert noted, “Russia wants to see Serzh Sargsyan re-elected as president. So much is clear to everybody. However Hayrikyan does not provide a serious challenge to Sargsyan, so why would they want to kill him. I don’t think I should speculate further on this. I hope the investigation is comprehensive and transparent. The Armenian people deserve answers.”