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Opposition proposes Khadzhimba as presidential candidate in Abkhazia

June 18, 2014, 20:39 UTC+3 SUKHUM

Early presidential elections in Abkhazia will take place on August 24

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© ITAR-TASS/Artur Lebedev

SUKHUM, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Abkhazian opposition, which has consolidated its ranks within the Coordination Council of Political Parties and Public Organisations, has nominated one of its leaders, Raul Khadzhimba, as a presidential candidate.

The Coordination Council brings together 12 parties and movements. Khadzhimba is the leader of the Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia.

The Council also proposed Vitaly Gabniya, who is the head of the Abkhazian Patriotic War Movement Aruaa, as vice-president.

Former Abkhazian Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshba, leader of Civil Union for the Rule of Law, Stability and Democracy, has also announced his decision to run for the presidency. “Responding to the numerous proposals to become an alternative candidate from opposition political parties and sharing the right of the people of Abkhazia to an alternative choice, I have made the decision to run for the president of the Republic of Abkhazia as an alternative candidate,” Dzapshba said.

He said he did not have “any fundamental political differences with other opposition political parties and movements on key issues of the current political agenda”. He also reaffirmed his commitment to the common political platform with the Coordination Council and all citizens of Abkhazia who share it.

The parliament of Abkhazia amended some election laws earlier in the day. According to the amendments, the 15-member Central Electoral Commission (eight members from the parliament and seven from the president) will also include one representative from each registered presidential candidate during the campaigning period. They will have “the same rights and obligations as other members of the CEC with the deciding vote, except for the right to vote on matters referred to the Commission’s jurisdiction and to sign its decisions”.

The new amendments also require each voter to have his thumb marked with special ink to avoid double voting.

Early presidential elections in Abkhazia will take place on August 24. Candidates will be nominated and registered from June 25 till July 14. The elections were called after the resignation of Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab on the opposition’s demand. Parliament Speaker Valery Bganba is temporarily substituting for him.

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