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US and EU comment on Abkhazian elections

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 16
Western countries have not recognised the Presidential elections in the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia as legitimate.

"The European Union does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which these elections have taken place," the EU Presidency said in a statement on behalf of all 27 member states on December 14. "The European Union continues to support Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, as recognised by international law," added the EU Presidency, which Sweden holds until the end of this year.

A similar statement has been published by the US Department of State. Ian Kelly, the Spokesperson for the Department, announced that “The United States regrets the decision to hold “elections” in the Abkhazia region of Georgia on December 12 and recognises neither the legality nor the results [of these]. The United States reiterates its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”

The Presidential elections in separatist Abkhazia were held on December 12. The central Georgian Government protested against them being held, calling them a “farce” staged by the Russian authorities. The Kremlin described them as “democratic.”

According to preliminary results, the elections saw current de facto leader of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh re-elected with 60% of the vote. His main rival, former Vice-President Raul Khajimba, received 15.4%, head of the state-owned Abkhaz Shipping Company Zaur Ardzinba 10.6%, businessman and former lawmaker Beslan Butba up to 8% and Professor Vitaly Bganba 1.5%.