SUKHUM, March 13. /TASS/. Ex-president of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab has been elected to parliament, a source in the republican Central Election Commission (CEC) told TASS on Monday.
Initiative groups had nominated Ankvab to represent three electoral districts but he chose the electoral district number 18 in the city of Gudauta. There were three more candidates in this electoral district but one of them withdrew his candidacy. "According to the preliminary results of the voting, Alexander Ankval has garnered more than half of the votes in his electoral district," the CEC source said.
Ankvab stepped down as president on June 1, 2014, following opposition’s protests. He returned to Abkhazia from Moscow a month before the elections, for the first time in the past two and a half years. Before that, the ruling Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia party had issued a statement saying that calls for Ankvab’s return were a provocation. Meanwhile, the Bloc of Opposition Forces said that the former president was a full citizen of Abkhazia so no one could prevent him from implementing his constitutional rights.
Ankvab was president of Abkhazia in 2011-2014. He also served as prime minister and vice president in 2005-2011. During this period, six assassinations were attempted, the latest assassination attempt on Ankvab’s life killing two of his bodyguards.
In Abkhazia, political parties and group of electros are eligible to nominate candidates for the People’s Assembly. However, this time, only four political parties out of eight exercised this right while other candidates were nominated by initiative groups.
In single-seat constituencies, candidates were to gain more than half of the votes in order to win. If no candidate receives the needed number of votes, the second round of voting will be conducted in two weeks.