SUKHUM, August 24, 20:38 /ITAR-TASS/. Voters in Abkhazia have shown high activity in Sunday’s election, Konstantin Zatulin, director of the Moscow-based Institute for CIS Studies said upon the results of visiting a number of polling stations in the young South-Caucasian country.
Specifically, he said he had seen voters queuing up to polling stations in a number of villages in the Gudauta district and in the town of Novy Afon.
“We saw queues everywhere but Novy Afon had the biggest one,” Zatulin said.
“Observers representing each candidate were found at all the polling stations I visited and the members of electoral commissions seemed to know their duties very well,” he said. “I didn’t hear complaints over violations from any observer.”
“Small shortcomings might be linked to the fact this was an early election,” Zatulin said. “Had it been held as scheduled, there would have been an opportunity to prepare from it better then.”
He also said that no second round of voting might be needed actually.
The voting was over by 20:00 hours Moscow Standard Time, after which the electoral commissions got down to counting the votes.
The Central Election Commissions in Sukhum said some time ago the voters’ turnout had exceeded 55% by midday.
Three polling stations were opened outside of Abkhazia - in Moscow, Cherkessk in North Caucasus and Istanbul.
There were four candidates on the ballots - Security Service chief Aslan Bzhaniya, former Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshba, Defense Minister Mirab Kishmariya, and political opposition leader Raul Khadjimba.
At the time of reporting, allies and supporters of all the four candidates had started gathering by the building of the Central Election Commission.