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Abkhaz presidency contested by four generals

July 15, 2014, 12:19 UTC+3 SUKHUMI

All four candidates have successfully passed the state language test,one of the main pre-conditions for registration

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Opposition activists seen with the national flag of Abkhazia  (archive)

Opposition activists seen with the national flag of Abkhazia (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Artur Lebedev

SUKHUMI, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Abkhaz Central Election Commission has registered four presidential candidates on Tuesday. The early election is scheduled for August 24.

All four candidates are generals who have successfully passed the state language test - one of the main pre-conditions for registration. The former deputy prime minister Beslan Eshba was denied registration on the grounds of insufficient fluency in the state language.

Mirab Kishmaria has been the republic’s minister of defense since 2007. He commanded a battalion in the limited contingent of the Soviet Forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. When the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict broke out in the early 1990s, the general commanded the front.

Major general Leonid Dzapsha worked in the Abkhaz security forces and in the ministry of taxation. In 2010, he was appointed the minister of the interior, but resigned a year later.

The opposition leader Raul Hadzhimba is the lawyer-turned-major general who studied at the KGB school. At the time of the mentioned conflict with Georgia, he led the front reconnaissance. Afterwards, Hadzhimba worked at the state security service and the customs committee. He was appointed prime minister in 2003.

The fourth candidate is the engineer Aslan Bzania who finished the KGB courses and was appointed chairman of the state security service in 2010.

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