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SUKHUM, August 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The speaker of the Parliament of Abkhazia, Nugzar Ashuba, the acting president of the republic, has said that August 26 will see democratic elections.
"We have witnessed true competition by three politicians in our country. All three candidates are worthy people," said Ashuba at a meeting with observers from several European countries, Venezuela, Latvia, Nauru, the Dominican Republic, Armenia, the Dniester Moldovan Republic and also the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.
According to Ashuba, Raul Khadzhimba is an experienced man, who did much for the country. Sergei Shamba in modern history is one of the founders of the struggle for the independence of the Abkhazian people, who did much for his country, including fight for its defense with weapons in hand. Alexander Ankvab is a worthy man, who has extended great services to the country and the people."
The presidential candidates, according to Ashuba, have been fulfilling their obligations under the agreement signed in July, For Honest and Clean Elections.
"They have had every chance to quietly stay in Sukhumi, and communicate with their voters using modern technology, but they daily meet with them, going around every town and personally presenting their programs. This is a serious contest of ideas, not a physical confrontation between the candidates," said the acting president.
Ashuba advised observers to study the local election legislation and see for themselves how democratic it is.
"We try to make presidential elections as transparent as possible," he stressed.
On August 26 Abkhazia will hold early presidential elections. Three candidates are contesting the post – Vice-President Alexander Ankvab, opposition leader Raul Khadzhimba and Prime Minister Sergei Shamba. In the 35 constituencies there have been established 172 polling stations, which will be open on the election day from 08:00 to 20:00 Moscow time. According to CEC Chairman Batal Tabagua, this time Abkhazia will not open any polling stations at military units, contrary to the previous practice.
"The CEC decided that the military should vote at ordinary civilian polling stations. We believe that this is more democratic," said Tabagua.
According to preliminary statistics, 143,735 voters will be able to cast their ballots.
A group of over 100 monitors will observe the elections.