Khadjimba claims victory in Abkhazia presidential race

Photo: Khadjimba claims victory in Abkhazia presidential race / Georgia

Opposition leader Raul Khadjimba has claimed victory in the presidential election of the former Georgian and breakaway republic of Abkhazia, garnering 50.57 percent of the votes, Anadolu agency reported.

According to the first results released by Abkhazian Central Election Commission, all ballot boxes were opened which heralded the presidential victory of Khadjimba with more than 50,000 votes.

On Sunday, voters headed to the polls to choose between Aslan Bzhania, head of State Security Service; Defense Minister Mirab Kishmaria; former Interior Minister Leonid Dzapshba, and Khadjimba after the previous incumbent Alexander Ankvab stood down in May following anti-government protests against corruption and authoritarianism.

The preliminary results revealed Bzhania won 35.91 percent of the votes, followed by Kishmaria who received 6.4 percent in the presidential race in which more than 130,000 voters out of a population of approximately 242,000 cast their ballots.

The former Interior Minister Dzapshba received just 3.4 percent which amounted to 3,397 votes, and the official results are expected to be released late on Monday.

Abkhazia declared independence in 2008 following a brief war with Georgia in which the self-declared independent state was backed by Russia.

The President-elect Khadjimba was born in Tkuarchal town in 1958 and took offices of both the defense minister and deputy prime minister before ruling his country as prime minister between 2005 and 2009.

Moscow recognized the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, after a six-day war with Georgia in 2008.

Azerbaijan has called the election illegal, as it supports the territorial unity of Georgia and will not recognize the so-called election.

The "presidential election" in Abkhazia are neglecting the fundamental principles of the international law, said the statement of Georgian Foreign Ministry released on Aug. 23.

The EU has also made a statement in connection with the so-called elections in Abkhazia.

The European Union does not recognize the constitutional and legal framework within which the so-called presidential election in Abkhazia are taking place, said a communiqué of the Head of EU diplomacy, Catherine Ashton.

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