"I have no intention to seek a 40-day delay as I realize that we are in a process that needs to be finalized," Airikian said in televised remarks from the hospital. "But I will have to choose the option of postponing the vote by 15 days."
Yerevan Clinical Hospital's chief doctor, Ara Minasian, said Airikian was being treated for a single gunshot wound and remained in stable condition. Doctors successfully operated to remove a bullet in his shoulder.
Airikian, an also-ran in three previous Armenian presidential elections, was a dissident during Soviet times. He was first arrested by the KGB when he was 20, and spent 17 years in prison, according to his party.
In 1987, after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched his liberal reforms, Airikian created the National Self-Determination Party. When the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted the next year, he accused the Soviet authorities of stirring up violence and was evicted from the country.
Airikian soon returned to his homeland and in the 1990s had senior positions in Armenia's parliament and government.
On Friday, Airikian blamed ex-Soviet KGB agents of launching the attack.
"I would sincerely say that I see the style of special services of a foreign state, which haunted me for so long, not Russia, but its predecessor," Airikian said. He added that they could have been worried by his push for Armenia's closer integration into Europe.
Armenia has an economic and security pact with Russia and also hosts a Russian military base.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the shooting of Airikian, adding that Washington expects the Armenian government to ensure a fair vote in line with the law.
"If he's unable to campaign, we obviously call on Armenians to settle this constitutionally in a way that assures that these elections go forward in a way that is free and fair and protects the rights of all candidates," she said.
Bradley Klapper contributed to this report from Washington.
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