Abkhaz opposition accuses authorities of bribing voters
Elections in Abkhazia
In Abkhazia, the opposition complains that the authorities are bribing voters on the eve of the parliamentary elections. Opposition leader Adgur Ardzinba appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office with a statement about violations committed during the election campaign, including bribery of voters and use of administrative resources.
As proof of his allegations, the opposition leader suggests paying attention to social media, where “such violations are actively demonstrated by supporters of certain candidates for deputies”.
Adgur Ardzinba, in his statement addressed to Prosecutor General Adgur Agrba, does not call any names and does not cite any specific facts related to voter bribery. Nevertheless, on social media, campaign messages from some election headquarters do come across, according to which certain public works (road repair, street lighting, installation of a new transformer, etc.) are carried out thanks to specific MP candidates.
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“Based on the foregoing, we ask you to take measures aimed at preventing the use of administrative resources and bribery of voters during the election campaign for elections to the People’s Assembly-Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia, as well as bringing the perpetrators to justice”, the opposition leader said in a statement.
Adgur Ardzinba himself decided not to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for March 12, although many of his associates are participating in them.
Back in December last year, the opposition proposed to President Aslan Bzhania to postpone the holding of parliamentary elections for a year in order to have time to adopt amendments to the electoral system during this period of time, in accordance with the proposals of the Constitutional Commission.
The amendments imply a transition from a majoritarian to a mixed majoritarian-proportional electoral system.
President Bzhania, despite the fact that he approves of the transition to the new system, nevertheless refused to postpone the elections, and they will be held according to the old majoritarian system – deputies will be elected from single-member districts only.
However, in Abkhazia, some believe that the opposition’s attempt to accuse the authorities of bribery is unlikely to score them political points.
“Of course, this statement has no prospects. And the point here is not the possible bias of the prosecutor’s office. The opposition, instead of an active and purposeful election campaign, simply dropped out of the political field at the most crucial period. And this cannot but affect the voting results. Messages about pre-election lawlessness and subsequent falsifications have been prepared in advance”, the ABKHAZIA-CENTER telegram channel commented on the actions of the opposition leader.
Elections to the Parliament of Abkhazia will be held on March 12, 2022.
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