ISTANBUL (Panorama.am) — Archbishop Karekin Bekchian, one of the candidates for Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, issued a letter on October 21 addressed to Bishop Sahak Mashalian, the locum tenens of Turkey’s Armenian Patriarchate.
According to the report by Ermenihaber, Bekchian spoke about his decision to withdraw his candidacy for the post given the violation of the rights of other candidates amid the Turkish government growing interference in the elections.
In the letter, Bekchian, who once served as locum tenens of the Patriarchate, called on all candidates to boycott the elections in solidarity of those whose rights had been violated.
The development came after Turkish authorities issued guidelines for the election of a new patriarch for the Armenian Apostolic Church. The guidelines included a new condition that would preclude clerics serving outside of Turkey from participating in the election and severely restrict the number of individuals eligible to stand for election.
The election for Patriarch is scheduled to take place on December 11, 2019.