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Coup attempted in Abkhazia, but situation may be brought back to legal field — president

May 28, 2014, 11:04 UTC+3 SUKHUM
Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab says that his aim to avert development of events according to a scenario that would be irreparable to the country
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Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab

Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab

© EPA/ULF MAUDER

SUKHUM, May 28./ITAR-TASS/. An attempt at a seizure of power by force was made in Abkhazia, a South Caucasian republic, Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab said in an interview with independent TV channel Abaza-TV, noting that he did not leave Abkhazia.

“Juridically, this was certainly an attempt at seizing power by force, in an armed way,” the Abkhazian president said, noting that, however, “There is still a chance to bring back the situation in the legal field.”

“Together with the Security Council members, we discuss various options for the development of events. My aim and the purpose of the actions of my colleagues have been one and the same: to avert development of events according to a scenario that would be irreparable to our country,” Ankvab noted.

He also noted that talks had been held with opposition representatives in the evening on May 27. “We have discussed different issues. Harsh demands were voiced that I should resign. Then we came back to the issues that possibly the whole Cabinet should resign and the prosecutor general and chief executives of Tkuarchal and Gali districts should be dismissed,” Ankvab said. In his words, talks were interrupted many times. “At the last debate in reply to our request to give us an opportunity to discuss all details behind closed doors oppositionists turned around sharply and went down to their supporters who were staying at the presidential administration building. Then an actual capture of the building started,” the Abkhazian president added.

 

Situation in cities and districts of the republic

The Abkhazian Interior Ministry works in routine mode, republican Interior Minister Otar Khetsia told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday morning.

In his words, police are fulfilling their duties to protect public order. “No incidents took place in districts and cities of the republic for the past night,” he noted.

As for the presidential administration building, oppositionists are staying at the building on first and second floors.

 

On whose side is the army

At the last debate in reply to our request to give us an opportunity to discuss all details behind closed doors oppositionists turned around sharply and went down to their supporters who were staying at the presidential administration building. Then an actual capture of the building started Alexander Ankvab Abkhazia's President The chiefs of Abkhazia's security organizations have stated Wednesday that they support the lawfully elected president of the country and do not accept "unconstitutional methods of struggle which are conducive to a destabilization of the situation in the country".

This is said in a joint statement signed by Defence and Interior Ministers Mirab Kishmariya and Otar Khetsiya, Aslan Bzhaniya, Chairman of the State Security Service (SSS), and Raul Lolua, chief of the SSSS Special-Purpose Center.

The leaders of the security-related organizations of Abkhazia express an "Utter concern over the current developments in the country". "The security agencies are outside politics. However, we are categorically against unconstitutional methods of struggle which are conducive to a destabilization of the situation in the country. An escalation of the struggle may lead to disastrous consequences to the State. We earnestly call on all forces to stick to legal actions exclusively within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia. We support the lawfully elected president of the country," the statement emphasizes.

 

Abkhazian conflict

On Tuesday, the opposition staged a multi-thousand rally in the centre of Abkhazia’s capital, Sukhum, demanding the dismissal of the government, general prosecutor and chief executives in eastern Abkhazian regions. Opposition representatives tried to storm the building without waiting for the end of talks with the Abkhazina president. Several protesters were injured. After futile talks between the president and the opposition one of opposition leaders Raul Khadzhimba stated that the coordinating council of opposition parties and organizations has taken over provisional governance in the republic and would be forming all necessary structures in Abkhazia. 

The conflict between incumbent authorities and opposition broke out over issue of Abkhazian passports to residents of eastern border districts in the republic. These citizens are Georgian nationals who taking Abkhazian citizenship did not abandon Georgian citizenship that contradicts Abkhazian legislation. According to opposition, 27 thousand people received Abkhazian passports illegally and further issue of passports was suspended on their demand.

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