|Name in Armenian||Պարույր Հայրիկյան|
|Birth date||5 July 1949|
Paruyr Hayrikyan (also known as Paruyr Hayrikian or Paruir Airikian; born July 5, 1949; Armenian: Պարույր Հայրիկյան) is an Armenian politician and former Soviet dissident. P. Hayrikyan is one of the founders and most active leaders of the democratic movement in the Soviet Union. He is also a writer and an accomplished composer. He is the author of several patriotic songs popular in Armenia and Armenian Diaspora.
In 1967, Paruyr Hayrikyan became a member of Armenia's underground National United Party (NUP) and risen to head of the NUP in 1968. In 1987, Paruyr Hayrikyan became leader and founder of the Union for National Self-Determination (UNSD) political party.
In Soviet times, Hayrikyan was placed several times in penal labor camps for his political views and activities. He was eventually stripped of Soviet citizenship and exiled to Ethiopia after his accusations that the Soviet leadership instigated the Sumgait pogroms of Armenian population in Azerbaijan. In Addis Ababa Hayrikyan applied for and was granted asylum by the United States, where he remained for some time. In 1990, following pressure of a group of United States senators led by Bob Dole, Mikhail Gorbachev restored Hayrikyan's citizenship and allowed him to return. Since then Hayrikyan has taken an active part in Armenian political life.
The National United Party (NUP) was founded in 1966 on April 24. NUP's three founders were Haykaz Khachatryan, Stephan Zatikyan and Shahen Harutyunyan. When the founders of the party were imprisoned in 1968, Hayrikyan becomes head of the National United Party (NUP). The main goals of (NUP) were independence of Soviet Armenia and Soviet Russia and the elimination of the consequences of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923). In 1973, the National United Party re-elected Hayrikyan as its president. In the same year, Hayrikyan wrote his seminal political pamphlet "The Road to Independence through Referendum Strategy."
Union for National Self-Determination (UNSD) party was established by Paruyr Hayrikyan in September 1987. Union for National Self-Determination (UNSD) was the first openly operating democratic organization within the territory of the USSR. UNSD published the "Independence" weekly newspaper starting from October 24th of 1987. The "Independence" weekly newspaper was the first alternative political periodical in the Soviet Union.
2013 Presidential Candidacy
Paruyr Hayrikyan announces his intention to run for president
13:48 08/12/2012 » ANALYSIS
National Self-Determination Union (NSDU) chairman Paruyr Hayrikyan is going to run for president, as he told reporters today.
`I am going to run in the elections. I can't but participate in the election race, although I have a better idea than any other politician in Armenia about what difficulties are awaiting us after the elections. Current politicians in Armenia think that the elections will give the possibility of making radical changes in the country. But I understand that it is only a moral and political possibility. And I have an experience of working with moral and political possibilities,' said Hayrikyan.
Commenting on the chances of presidential candidates, NSDU leader noted that incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan is in a favorable position as he goes for elections with a united front.
`I will receive only 20 percent of the vote if I run in the elections independently,' he added.
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Soviet-Era Dissident Makes Political Comeback
Paruyr Hayrikian, a prominent Soviet-era dissident who played a major role in Armenian politics in the 1990s, is making a political comeback with his decision to run in next month’s presidential election.
Hayrikian, 63, is one of seven individuals, including President Serzh Sarkisian and opposition heavyweights Raffi Hovannisian and Hrant Bagratian, who have filed for official registration as presidential candidates. Sarkisian is widely tipped to win a second term in the election scheduled for February 18.
Hayrikian likewise asserted on Monday that the incumbent’s reelection is a forgone conclusion. “There will be no constitutional regime change in Armenia through these elections because unfortunately power … illegally and legally belongs to Serzh Sarkisian and his associates subordinate to him,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview.
Hayrikian, who repeatedly ran for president in the 1990s, said he decided to join the 2013 presidential race in order to capitalize on freedom of speech which he believes is now generally respected by the government for the first time in Armenia’s history.
“We can say that we are heading to the presidential elections in a relative atmosphere of freedom of speech,” he said. “There have already been some minor violations. But I still consider the existing situation an achievement.”
“That was not a manifestation of the government’s good will. I do realize that that is also the result of an oversight over the fulfillment of Armenia’s international obligations,” added the ex-dissident.
Hayrikian, who leads a small party called the National Self-Determination Union, said he will use “the power of words” in the election campaign to highlight and fight against various government abuses in Armenia. He claimed that can he thus influence even President Sarkisian. “Today he listens to my words with respect but does nothing about them,” he said.
Hayrikian spent 17 years in Soviet labor camps for campaigning for Armenia’s independence before being expelled from the country and stripped of his Soviet citizenship in 1988. He was allowed to return to Armenia from the United States in 1991, one year after being elected a member of the first post-Communist Armenian parliament in absentia.
Hayrikian was an opposition candidate in presidential elections held in 1991, 1996 and 1998. His AIM party won a handful of parliament seats in legislative elections held in 1995. It has not been represented in the National Assembly since 1999.
Two Arrested In Shooting Attack On Hayrikian
Armenia’s most powerful security agency said on Friday that it has arrested two men on suspicion of shooting and wounding presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian last week.
The National Security Service (NSS) said the suspects, identified as Khachatur Poghosian and Samvel Harutiunian, confessed to “the murder attempt” after being taken into custody on Thursday.
An NSS statement described Poghosian, 46, and Harutiunian, 40, as unemployed men illegally residing in Yerevan. It said they both were convicted of drug trafficking in the past.
“Motives for the crime are being verified and the public will be periodically informed about the course of the investigation,” added the statement.
President Serzh Sarkisian was reported to welcome the development at an extraordinary meeting with the NSS director, Gorik Hakobian, and other senior law-enforcement officials. The presidential press office said the meeting focused on measures to ensure the personal security of all presidential candidates and their “full-fledged and equal participation” in the election campaign.
In a statement, the office quoted Hakobian as briefing Sarkisian on the ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting attack. He said the investigators are now in a position to fully solve the case, according to the statement.
Hayrikian, who remains in hospital, was quick to react to the arrests. “Only the instruments [of the crime] have been identified so far,” he told reporters. “But there is no word yet on the mastermind.”
“I’m happy that they have achieved something,” he said of the NSS investigators.
Hayrikian said earlier that he can recognize a lone gunman who fired two gunshots at him from close range on January 31. He claimed that the shooter had “European features.” None of the arrested men, shown in pictures released by the NSS, fits that description.
Even so, the presidential hopeful, who leads a small party called the National Self-Determination Union, implied on Friday that he believes one of the suspects is apparently the man who shot him.
Hayrikian commented on this contradiction when he spoke to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) later in the day. “In connection with this crime, I said some things in order to delude those who were behind it,” he said. “So please do not consider my public statements on the case substantiated because I have my considerations.”
The NSS announced the arrests the day after Hayrikian threatened to reconsider his decision not to seek a two-week postponement of Armenia’s presidential election slated for February 18. He said his health condition has somewhat worsened in the last few days and pointed to his rivals’ “slanderous” allegations that he himself stage-managed the shooting. Hayrikian also said on Thursday that he expects progress in the investigation conducted by the NSS.
Hayrikian announced on Friday he will meet with his close associates later in the day to finally decide whether to ask the Constitutional Court to delay the presidential ballot. A spokesman told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the court received no petitions from the Hayrikian campaign by the end of the business day.
Hayrikian Warns Of Election U-Turn
07.02.2013 Paruyr Hayrikian, the opposition candidate recovering from a gunshot wound, warned on Thursday that he may reconsider his decision not to seek a postponement of Armenia’s presidential election because of his health condition and “slanderous” attacks from opponents.
Hayrikian, who was wounded in the right shoulder last week, said he has suffered from severe pain in his right hand in the last two days. “My right hand not only stopped functioning but also caused me terrible pain,” he told reporters at Yerevan’s Surp Grigor Lusavorich hospital. “It was so strong last night that I took painkillers but they didn’t help. Doctors, who had thought that I could be discharged yesterday, are now demanding that I don’t leave the hospital for two days.”
“Quite a lot has changed in the last two days and we are no longer able to campaign,” said Hayrikian. “Not only because of my physical condition but also because … my people have to deny that I stage-managed the shooting. Unfortunately this is distracting us and also lowering our ratings.”
Hayrikian added that he will likely ask the Constitutional Court to delay the February 18 election by two weeks “if they continue to hit me with slander and create unequal conditions.” Asked when he will make the final decision, he said, “I still have time, at least two or three days.”
The Armenian constitution allows a two-week election delay if one of the presidential candidates is faced with “insurmountable obstacles” to their election campaign. Hayrikian said on Tuesday that he will not lodge a corresponding appeal to the Constitutional Court because he does not want “terrorism” to disrupt the country’s political life.
Hayrikian was shot and wounded outside his Yerevan home on January 31 in still unclear circumstances. Nobody has been arrested in connection with the shooting strongly condemned by Armenia’s government and main political groups.