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SUKHUM, March 10 (Itar-Tass) — As a recognised independent state, Abkhazia will have its first parliamentary elections.
The elections to the parliament, which has one house, are organised on a majority basis in 35 districts, where 174 polling stations are working. Parties have a right to nominate one candidate each, but not in more than a third part of all election districts on their choice. Some candidates were nominated by groups of locals. Deputies are elected for a five-year term.
The number of hopefuls at the elections to the Abkhazian parliament totals 148 candidates registered by the country’s Central Elections Commission /CEC/.
Thus, 34 candidates from political parties and 114 nominated by initiative groups will participate in the elections to the Abkhazian parliament. Election lists include 149,622 voters (republican population consists of 240,000 people). The Abkhazian CEC forecasts the first preliminary results will be made public on March 11 at 11.00.
The information centre, opened in the Abkhazian capital on Friday, is fitted out with the latest equipment and gives a chance to mass media representative to transmit uninterruptedly information to any country.
The programme of the information centre’s operation provides for speeches before reporters by representatives of republican authorities, heads of ministries and departments, as well as international observers whose number is expected at 40 people, including those from Russia.
Elections are pronounced valid if the turnout is over 25 percent of voters registered in election lists. Winning candidates are to receive at elections more than half of votes of the electorate, participating in the voting.
Local analysts say that with the high number of candidates it is unlikely any of them may score over 50 percent of the vote, and thus the republic is talking about an inevitable second round, which is due on March 25.
Analysts say that the parliamentary elections should fix the place of the opposition in the country’s political system, and should answer the question what future the republic may offer to the people. This question is not rhetorical at all, as the new president, Alexander Ankvab, has taken the initiative and criticises the old power system. Over the short period of time, he managed to undertake a lot in fighting corruption in the police, prosecution and migration service, he also criticised authorities of several districts. The president follows rather strictly Abkhazia’s interests in foreign policy. Thus, the president’s opponents at the parliament will rather have to follow a constructive position and to be working together with him for improvement of life in the republic.