WASHINGTON, March 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The United States will recognise the legitimacy of the March 10 parliamentary elections in Abkhazia, Department of State Spokesman Mark Toner said.
He said the U.S. supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within the internationally recognised borders.
Toner urged Russia to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of troops to the pre-conflict positions and free access of humanitarian aid to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Another Western country, Latvia, also said earlier in the day that it would not recognise the legitimacy of the legislative elections in Abkhazia, the Foreign Ministry said.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia does not recognize the legitimacy of the parliamentary elections in Abkhazia on March 10 and reiterates its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the conduct of such elections is not conducive to a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” the ministry said in a statement.
Nearly 50 international observers from nine countries monitored the elections and they registered no major irregularities or violations, but noted the excellent organisation of the elections, their democratic nature and high turnout.
The one-chamber parliament was elected by the first-past-the-post system. Thirty-five seats were contested by 148 candidates, including 114 nominated by citizens and 34 by political parties: 11 from the pro-government United Abkhazia party, 11 from the opposition Forum of the People's Unity of Abkhazia, six from the Communist Party, and six from the centrist Economic Development Party.
A total of 149,622 people were included in the lists of eligible voters.