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Abkhazia opposition pledges not to use party congress to trigger protests to depose govt

October 19, 2015, 21:32 UTC+3 SUKHUM
On the day the opposition party is to hold its congress, a social organization uniting veterans of the 1992-1993 war with Georgia will stage a rally in central Sukhumi in support of Raul Khadzhimba
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©  ITAR-TASS/Artur Lebedev

SUKHUM, October 19. /TASS/. The principal opposition party of Abkhazia, Amtsakhara, plans an extraordinary congress in capital Sukhum on October 21 to discuss the situation in the republic, pledging not to use it for triggering protests aimed at deposing the government, party’s acting leader said on Monday.

"We will discuss the social-political situation in the country and organizational issues," said Alkhas Kvitsiniya from the party of veterans of the 1992-1993 war with Georgia.

"The present opposition has never urged unconstitutional activity and any fears that the congress will grow into a spontaneous rally and an attempt to overthrow power as it happened on May 27, 2014 are groundless," he said.

On the day when the opposition party is to hold its congress, a social organization uniting veterans of the 1992-1993 war with Georgia, Aruaa, will stage a rally in central Sukhumi in support of President Raul Khadzhimba.

"For the first time in many years, the government is focusing its activity on the interests of the state, so that we stop being a subsidized state but earn and live on our own resources," said the movement’s statement.

"The present government inherited from the former one empty public coffers and foreign and domestic debts running into many billions" it said.

"Some people and opposition parties are trying to commit unlawful acts aimed at destabilizing the situation," the document said.

Khadzhimba was elected Abkhazian President at a snap election of August 24, 2014. He led the opposition after an anti-governmental rally in Sukhum on May 27, 2014, which was followed by riots and an attempt was made to storm the building of the presidential administration.

A month later the Coordinating Council of opposition parties and organizations in Abkhazia nominated him for president.

Khadzhimba won 50.57% of the votes in the August election, clearly beating his main rival Aslan Bzhania, the region‘s security services chief, who got 35.91%

Abkhazia, a province situated on the north-western Black Sea coast, sought independence from Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Deterioration of relations between Georgia and Abkhazia reached its peak in the 1990s and led to armed clashes that left about 20,000 people killed. In 1994, Abkhazia adopted its own constitution and declared independence from Georgia. A referendum in 1999 supported the republic’s statehood, but it was never accepted by the international community.

In early August 2008, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Abkhazia backed Russia’s operation to coerce Georgia into peace and asked Moscow to recognize its sovereignty. After the 2008 conflict Moscow declared that it would formally recognize the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia's allies Nicaragua and Venezuela followed the suit, as did a number of small Pacific island states.

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