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One candidate drops out of de facto presidential race in Abkhazia

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Wednesday, February 12
Acting head of so-called Sokhumi Administration Kan Kvarchia has refused to run in the ‘presidential election’. Abkhazia-Inform reported about it. Also, it was noted that he does not support any of the candidates running for de facto elections.

“The current situation witnesses a serious rift in society. Every citizen of Abkhazia, starting with ordinary residents and ending with presidential candidates, must do everything possible to overcome the rift, at least not to deepen it. After analyzing the political and human relations in our society, I decided not to participate in the election campaign,” said Kvarchia.

'Presidential elections' will be held in the de facto republic on March 22. The nomination of candidates ends today.

Several people are running for the so-called presidential elections, including opposition leader Aslan Bzhania, so-called Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Adgur Ardzinba and the leader of the party United Abkhazia Leonid Dzapshba.

The second round of so-called elections was set to be held after the protests of the opposition and the attempt to take over the so-called residency of the President. This was followed by the resignation of the so-called president Raul Khajimba.

Khajimba addressed the so-called Parliament, People’s Assembly, on January 12 with a proposal of his resignation. De Facto Parliament approved the proposal and de facto prime minister, Valeri Bganba, has been tasked to do the president’s job.

Raul Khajimba's decision was preceded by an opposition protest, which began on January 9, and a decision by the Supreme Court of the breakaway region of Abkhazia on January 10 to uphold the so-called opposition cassation lawsuit filed in September 2019 on annulment of the second round of the so-called presidential elections.

According to the results of the 'elections,' Raul Khajimba defeated the opposition party's candidate, with 47.38% of the votes, while Alkhas Kvitsinia received 46.19%. Kvitsinia claimed that neither candidate received the votes needed to legally elect a 'president,' so a rerun had to be held.

The de-facto election administration did not agree with the opposition's request, however, following the Supreme Court's ruling on January 10, repeated 'elections' were scheduled for March 22, 2020.

Until January 12, Khajimba was refusing to resign, and he was planning to appeal to the so-called Supreme Court.

Due to the situation in occupied Abkhazia, Russia has sent a delegation of President Putin, who was tasked to meet with opposition representatives on January 12 in Sokhumi.