SUKHUM, March 12. /TASS/. Voting at Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Abkhazia is over as the polling stations closed at 20:00 Moscow time.
According to Abkhazia’s Central Election Commission (CEC), elections have already been recognized as valid as more than 25% of voters had cast their votes two hours before the end of polling.
The term of the current parliament, or the National Assembly, expires in March. Elections are held in one-seat constituencies, with 137 candidates vying for 35 seats in the parliament. A winning candidate must score support from more than a half of voters. In case neither of the contenders manages to do that, a runoff polling will be organized in the constituency within two weeks. Taking part in that round are two candidates who win the biggest number of votes in the first round. A simple majority of votes is needed to win in the runoff poll.
Some 40 observers, including from Russia and South Ossetia, are monitoring the elections. Preliminary results will be announced on Monday, March 13. Official results are to be made public within seven days after the voting.