Abkhazia to hold early presidential election

SUKHUM, August 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Abkhazia’s early presidential election will take place on Friday. Each of the three candidates, Alexander Ankvab, Raul Khadzhinba and Sergei Shamba, is sure he will be the winner.

All the candidates are not newcomers in politics, they have been high-ranking officials.

The United Abkhazia Party, the Amtsakhara social organisation uniting veterans of World War II, and the Foundation for Abkhazia’s development support the candidature of Alexander Ankvab.

Opposing Forum of the National Unity of Abkhazia, the Akhyatsa social organisation, the organisation of veterans of the Georgia-Abkhazia war, the Kosaks Union support Raul Khadzhimba.

The Communist Party, the Party of the Economic Development and the Association of Youth Organisations of Abkhazia support the candidature of Sergei Shamba.

Candidates for premiership are Head of the Gulripshi Region Mikhail Logua, Political scientist Svetlana Szhergeniya, widow of Abkhazia’s first President Vladislav Ardzinba, Deputy Head of the State Committee on Youth and Sports Shamil Adzynba.

According to the country’s legislation, a president should have Abkhazia’s citizenship, know the state language, should be between 35 and 65, having a right to vote, living in the country at least for five years before the election. The presidential term is five years. The president is elected if receives over 50 percent of votes.

Abkhazia’s Central Elections Commission may consider election invalid if less than half of all registered electors participate in it.

The republic’s 35 districts have organised 172 election stations, including two outside the country – in Moscow and Cherkessk. All stations will open at 08:00 Moscow time and will be open till 20:00 Moscow time.

Every voter should have a national passport, and a special stamp will be put in a passport to avoid double voting.

Observers from over 100 countries have come to view the election in Abkhazia. They include representatives of Russia, Venezuela, Nauru, the Dominican Republic, Armenia, Latvia, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium.

The presidential election coincides with an important day in Abkhazia’s history – the third anniversary of the Russian Federation’s recognition of the republic’s independence. Abkhazia’s Acting Head Nugzar Ashuba said that “Russia, having undertaken the correct and brave step, was the first to recognise Abkhazia’s independence. We are very proud and happy that this decision was followed by other countries – Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Vanuatu, despite the colossal pressure they experienced from the USA and European countries.”

“Representatives of Venezuela and Nauru have crossed thousands kilometres to observe the election in Abkhazia,” he stressed.

Over 80 journalists from 35 leading international media have come to Abkhazia to report the presidential election.


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