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Occupied Abkhazia holds second round of so-called presidential elections

By Levan Abramishvili
Monday, September 9
The second round of de-facto presidential elections in Russian-occupied Abkhazia has begun on September 8.

Current de facto President Raul Khajimba and leader of the opposition party ‘Amtsakhara’, Alkhas Kvitsinia participated in the second round.

Ahead of the second round, Kvitsinia was backed by the former de facto presidential candidate Oleg Arshba, a former de facto deputy foreign minister, who came in third in the first round with 22.56% of the votes.

“I'm in a good mood. I voted for the future. I am not the God and I cannot predict the election results, but I hope people will make the right choice,” the so-called president Khajimba told reporters in Sokhumi after casting his vote in the de facto elections.

According to the head of the election committee of the de-facto republic, turnout was 38.41% at 15:00 in the second round of so-called presidential elections.

According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lasha Darsalia, the so-called elections are not recognized by the international community and the appropriate statements were made during the first round of elections.

“These elections are not recognized by the Georgian government and the international community. It has no legitimacy especially given that hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of these territories are displaced and currently in exile. You are aware of the illegitimacy of the so-called elections. Statements were made after the so-called first round. It is not recognized by Georgia, nor by the international community, as reflected in the relevant statements and responses,” said Darsalia.

According to him, The sole purpose of the ‘elections’ is to legitimize the occupation of Georgian territories, for which the Russian Federation is responsible.

“Only one state exercises effective control over these territories, and that is the Russian Federation. The processes going on there don’t matter, as their sole purpose is to legitimize occupation and create an illusion that some kind of political processes is going on there,” the Deputy Foreign Minister added.

The first round of the so-called presidential elections was held in occupied Abkhazia on August 25. A total of nine candidates were participating in the so-called elections.

Thousands of ethnic Georgians residing in Abkhazia have been stripped of their right to vote in the elections. Georgians compose almost 98% of the Gali district population, therefore the candidates didn’t bother to carry out their campaigns there.

A second round of the so-called elections got scheduled for September 8, as the current “president” Khajimba garnered 23.85% of the votes and Kvitsinia got 21,97% of the votes. The total turnout was 66.55%.

Georgian officials and the international community have called the so-called elections illegitimate and an attack at Georgia’s sovereignty.