Saturday, December 12, 2009

Abkhazia: First presidential elections started in Abkhazia


A presidential election has begun in Abkhazia, the first poll in the breakaway Georgian region since Russia recognised its independence last year.

All five candidates support strong ties with Moscow, including the incumbent Sergei Bagapsh. Russia now provides security and 60% of Abkhazia’s budget.

Most of the region’s ethnic Georgians, who constitute almost one third of the population, are not eligible to vote.

Georgia, which disputes Abkhazia’s independence, says the poll is illegal.

Correspondents say the challenge for the winner will be to persuade Western countries to recognise Abkhaz independence without isolating Georgia.

The News: … i/europe/8409325.stm



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