The election season official began in Armenia on Monday the 21st. On the 22nd, Aram Harutyunyan declared that he is intending to withdraw from the race on February 8, while Armen Malikyan is discussing withdrawing from the race, also on February 8. I have no idea why both candidates picked that day to be their official “withdraw” date.
Neither of these candidates was considered competitive in the election, so their withdrawal doesn’t change anything. Both of their names will be on the ballot because they paid the eight million dram registration fee. It’s odd that they would pay such a high fee just to drop out right when the race officially begins. It does add credence to the idea that the Sargsyan camp planted some of the candidates to make the election appear more competitive, but then why would they drop out when their dropping out raises these suspicions?