SUKHUM, January 12. /TASS/. Abkhazia’s President Raul Khajimba has taken a decision to step down, as follows from his statement read out by the country’s former Prime Minister Sergei Shamba in front of the protesters who gathered near the president’s residence on Sunday.
"I inform you that I step down as president for the sake of stability in the country," he cited the president’s statement.
Vice President Aslan Bartsits confirmed to TASS that the president has opted to resign. "He signed his resignation in order to prevent bloodshed, to preserve stability in the country," he said.
By now however there is no official confirmation of Khajimba’s resignation.
Hundreds of opposition activists gathered on Sunday at the Abkhazian president’s country residence demanding his resignation.
A political crisis erupted in Abkhazia on January 9 when protesters broke into the presidential administration building demanding resignation of President Raul Khadjimba. The president convened an emergency meeting of the country’s Security Council and said after it that a state of emergency could be imposed in the country. Abkhazia’s parliament gathered for an extraordinary session on the same day and issued an appeal to the president calling on him to step down.
On Friday, the Abkhazian Supreme Court’s cassation board cancelled the Central Election Commission’s decision on the results of the presidential polls and ruled to call a rerun election. Thus, the court board sustained opposition activist Alkhas Kvitsinia’s appeal against the ruling of the trial court that recognized the results of the presidential runoff election as lawful. The country’s Central Election Commission ruled to call the rerun elections on March 22.
Meanwhile, the Abkhazian president’s press service said that the president would challenge both the Central Election Commission’s decision and the court ruling.
Nevertheless, according to the president’s supporters, Khajimba will run for president at the new elections if they were ultimately called.