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Opposition claims conditions not created for referendum in Abkhazia

July 06, 14:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The referendum on the republic’s early presidential election is set for July 10
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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. No legal conditions have been created in Abkhazia for the July 10 referendum on the republic’s early presidential election, representative of the opposition, President of the APRA Fund for Socioeconomic and Political Research Aslan Bzhania told TASS on Wednesday.

"No conditions have been created for the referendum. The airtime should be provided 20 days ahead, and only one hour was provided over 20 days, so it is impossible to make up for that in the four days remaining before the referendum. Second - no polling stations have been set up in Russia, although they should have been set up there, the Central Election Commission made a corresponding decision. The absentee ballot voting has not been allowed, although there are no legal grounds for that," he said.

According to Bzhania, the postponement of the referendum until the autumn would provide an opportunity to rectify the situation.

"Let’s ask the people, in accordance with our laws. If the referendum takes place and Mr. President gets the support of its citizens, we’ll congratulate him and will not raise this issue until 2019. But if the voter turnout is low, they are hampering the turnout, it does not mean that he wins, but that the referendum is not valid", Bzhania said.

He also denied reports that there were drunk people among the protesters in Sukhum. "There were no drunk people among the participants (of the protect action)", he said.

President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba said earlier on Wednesday that many participants in the storming of the building of the Interior Ministry of Abkhazia were in a state of intoxication, and each of them would be punished.

The Central Election Commission of Abkhazia announced on Wednesday that everything was technically ready for the referendum. The CEC also said that no changes had been introduced in the referendum procedure and no related official documents came from the president. "If there are changes, we will know for sure, they will be sent to us (an official document from the president of the republic)", head of the Central Election Commission of Abkhazia Batal Tabagua said on Wednesday.

President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba told TASS on Wednesday that the referendum scheduled for July 10 will not be postponed, in spite of the opposition demands. "All yesterday’s actions (Sukhum disorders) were aimed at disrupting the referendum", he said.

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