SUKHUM, March 10 (Itar-Tass) — Abkhazia holds the parliamentary elections on Saturday. Doors of all 35 election commissions opened exactly at 08.00, and the commissions will end their work at 20.00.
The total of 149,622 registered voters will go to the polling stations, Itar-Tass learnt at the Central Election Commission.
The CEC noted that ballot papers had been brought to all the polls.
Abkhazian Interior Minister Otar Khetsiya told Itar-Tass that “police patrols were reinforced on the eve of elections, and they will serve in the reinforced version throughout the day”.”Police officers are on duty at every polling stations, ensuring law and order during the elections,” he added.
As many as 148 candidates, registered by the CEC, contest 35 seats at the Abkhazian national parliament. Out of the total, 114 were nominated by sponsoring groups of voters; 34 by political parties: 11 candidates each were nominated by the pro-government United Abkhazia Party and the opposition Forum of Popular Unity of Abkhazia, 6 – the Communist Party and 6 – centrist Abkhazian Party of Economic Development.
The list of candidates objectively reflects the national composition of the republic’s population. Candidates include 125 Abkhaz residents, nine Armenians, eight Russians, two Greeks, two Georgians, one Ossetian and one Kabarda resident. The oldest candidate is 74 and the youngest 26. The list includes 16 women.
The CEC will register elected deputies to the legislature, guided by protocols of election commissions. The CEC will publish a report on the results of elections and lists of elected deputies no later than seven days from Election Day.
The CEC will make public preliminary results on the next day after the elections.
The great role at the elections in Abkhazia is played by observers from candidates who have the right to be at the room of the election commission since the start of its work and up to filling out protocols of precinct election commissions on voting results.
International observers at the republican elections include representatives from the Federation Council upper chamber and members of the State Duma of the Russian parliament, the Russian Public Chamber, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, deputies from the Nagorny Karabakh parliament, parliamentary delegations from the breakaway Dniester Republic and South Ossetia, representatives from the Council of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly as well as the Interparliamentary Assembly of member states of the Commonwealth “For Democracy and Rights of Peoples”.
Nicaragua, Venezuela and Tuvalu also sent their representatives for the elections. The elections will be also monitored by representatives of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNIDO) – international non-government organization whose aim is to protect interests of ingenious peoples, having no their own states and/ or living in occupied or disputed territories.