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Acting president hails Abkhazia election as open, democratic

August 25, 2014, 21:45 UTC+3 SUKHUM
Political opposition leader Raul Khadzimba on Sunday won the presidential election in Abkhazia, a region whose claim to independence is disputed by Georgia and its allies
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Abkhazia’s Acting President Valery Bganba

Abkhazia’s Acting President Valery Bganba

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Popov/Archive

SUKHUM, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Abkhazia’s Acting President Valery Bganba hailed the Sunday presidential election, bringing victory to a political opposition leader, as open and democratic.

“The election proceeded without incidents and rude violations that could have affected the results of the voting,” he said. “There were certain concerns as a few days preceding the election were very tense, but thanks God our people have once again demonstrated a high degree of consciousness and responsibility,” he said. The voter turnout at 70% showed that the people were not indifferent to their future, he added.

All four candidates had said they would seek stronger ties with Russia, which “is natural as Russia is the main strategic partner of Abkhazia, the country that was the first to recognize republic’s independence in 2008,” the acting president said.

Political opposition leader Raul Khadzimba on Sunday won the presidential election in Abkhazia, a region whose claim to independence is disputed by Georgia and its allies, and he will be inaugurated in 30 days, Bganba announced earlier on Monday.

Khadzhimba won 50.57% of the votes, clearly beating his main rival Aslan Bzhania, the region‘s security services chief, who got 35.91%, the election commission said on Monday. The two other candidates — Defense Minister Merab Kishmaria and former interior minister Leonid Dzapshba — got 6.4 and 3.4% respectively. Turnout among the region‘s nearly 130,000 registered voters was almost 70%, according to the election commission’s statement.

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