SUKHUM, March 24 (Itar-Tass) — The second round of elections to the republican parliament will be staged on Saturday in 20 constituencies in Abkhazia.
Forty candidates participating in the second round, include six representatives from the opposition party Forum of Popular Unity of Abkhazia, three candidates from the United Abkhazia Party, one from centrist Party of Economic Development, while the rest 30 were nominated by sponsoring groups.
The elections to the country’s legislature were held on March 10. Only 13 were elected in the first round out of 148 hopefuls, running in 35 constituencies.
The elections were pronounced invalid in Sukhum constituency No.1 over a low turnout, and new elections will be held there on May 6.
A decision in disputable constituency No.21 has not been taken over a conflict between candidates, collecting the greatest number of votes – Aida Ashuba and Valeria Kvarchia.
One candidate from the opposition party Forum of Popular Unity of Abkhazia and one candidate from the ruling party United Abkhazia won their parliamentary seats in the first round. Other 11 winning deputies were slated by sponsoring groups. Neither of six candidates, nominated by the Communist Party, won in the first round and qualified for the second.
As many as 22 deputies of the operating parliament were nominated at the past parliamentary elections. Only four of them were victorious in the first round. Forty candidates running in the second round include nine deputies from the present parliament, including speaker Nugzar Ashuba and vice-speaker Irina Agrba.
International observers from nine countries monitored the parliamentary elections on March 10. They noted that the elections passed in a quiet atmosphere with observance of all republican election laws.
The elections to the one-chamber parliament were staged according to the majority system. In compliance with legislation, political parties were permitted to slate one candidate, but no more than in one-third of constituencies. Sponsoring groups nominated candidates at their places of residence. Out of 148 candidates, registered by the Central Election Commission to run in the first round, 114 were nominated by sponsoring groups and 34 by political parties. Deputies are elected for a five-year term.
There are 149,622 registered voters in the republic. The turnout was 44.5 percent on March 10.
In compliance with legislation on voting in the second round, the winner is regarded a candidate, gaining a simple majority of the vote. The second round will be pronounced valid at any turnout.