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Opposition accuses Abkhazian authorities of inciting tensions

July 07, 18:02 UTC+3 SUKHUM
The opposition demands to put off early presidential elections from July 10 to autumn
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© Artur Lebedev/ITAR-TASS

SUKHUM, July 7 /TASS/. Abkhazia’s opposition Amtsakhara party (of war veterans) has accused the Abkhazian authorities of inciting tensions in the republic following the unrest in the capital Sukhum on July 5.

The Amtsakhara party adopted a resolution at its congress on Tuesday demanding the resignation of the republic’s interior minister over the worsening criminal situation in Abkhazia and actions aimed at violation of citizens’ constitutional rights to participate in a referendum. The opposition appealed to the republic’s president to put off early presidential elections from July 10 to autumn.

Up to 1,000 people rallied outside the Abkhazian Interior Ministry building for almost six hours on Tuesday.

Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba relieved Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshbu of his duties but refused to postpone the referendum on early presidential elections to a later date.

"I am not going to put off the referendum because a decree has been signed. The referendum will take place on July 10. If I put it off until autumn as they assume I myself am going to break the law, which, as the opposition itself is saying, I am obliged to observe," Khadzhimba said on Abkhazian television on Tuesday.

The Amtsakhara party said that the statements and actions of Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba and his entourage after the July 5 riots were provoking a new wave of mass public protests. It warned that the events could start unfolding to an extremely dangerous scenario as a consequence.

The party has urged the Abkhazian president to be sensible and reasonable and use the days remaining before the July 10 referendum to correct the situation and pass decisions on all the points mentioned in a resolution adopted at the opposition congress on July 5 with an aim to end the current deadlock.

On July 6, the Abkhazian president told journalists that he had met almost all the demands made by the opposition except for changing the date of the referendum on snap presidential elections in Abkhazia.

Khadzhimba told his supporters at a rally a day earlier, on Wednesday, that he would accept any referendum result even if it were negative for him.

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