Abkhazia: Moscow insists on new elections in Abkhazia
MOSCOW, Nov 10 (RIA Novosti) - Yesterday, the opposition candidate for the presidency of Abkhazia (a self-proclaimed republic in Georgia), Sergei Bagapsh, made a series of statements that largely clarify the positions of his political rivals, Kommersant reports.
According to Mr. Bagapsh, the Abkhazian authorities are trying to do everything possible to hold a new round of elections on December 6. In his opinion, "their purpose is to put forward a new candidacy that would represent the same ruling party." Mr. Bagapsh hinted that Moscow's new favorite during the new round of elections would be incumbent Premier Nodar Khashba, rather than former Premier Raul Khadzhimba.
At the same time, Mr. Bagapsh claimed, "new elections will not be held on December 6, but the new president will be inaugurated." He emphasized that his interests coincided with Russia's: "Moscow is interested in stability in Abkhazia, and that is exactly our priority." The opposition leader accused his rivals of using the smear tactics.
Meanwhile, the major political rivals in Abkhazia will soon head for Moscow again (last week the candidates already held consultations in Russia's Security Council). The current premier, Mr. Khashba, arrived in Moscow yesterday. Mr. Khadzhimba and, possibly, Mr. Bagapsh are expected in the Russian capital soon. Local observers claim that if Moscow does not take urgent measures, Abkhazia might stand on the brink of a new armed conflict in early December because the authorities are willing to go ahead with new elections.
The crisis in the self-proclaimed republic erupted after the events early on October 29, when the Supreme Court of Abkhazia issued two contradictory rulings one after another. Initially, it recognized the Central Election Committee decision that Mr. Bagapsh's victory was legitimate. A few hours later, though, it declared the results of the elections invalid and ordered the CEC to hold a new round of elections in two months.
Source: RIA Novosti