The opposition says that Raul Khajimba’s re-election as president in September was illegal " />

Abkhaz opposition leader Bzhania promises fierce resistance to authorities

The opposition says that Raul Khajimba’s re-election as president in September was illegal

Aslan Bzhania, leader of the united Abkhaz opposition

Leader of the Abkhaz opposition, Aslan Bzhaniaa, currently undergoing  treatment in Germany after an alleged poisoning attempt, has promised fierce resistance to the authorities in an interview with Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

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The opposition in Abkhazia demands the cancellation of the results of the second round of the presidential election, which took place on September 8.

Two candidates received a very close number of votes: 47.39% was given to incumbent president Raul Khajimba, and 46.17% to the opposition candidate, leader of the Amtsakhara party Alkhas Kvitsinia.

The opposition claims that according to the law, this result actually means that nobody can be declared the victor and the vote must be held again.

“We are in a situation in which nobody can be called the elected president.  There is article 19 of the law ‘On Presidential Elections’, it says that in the second round a person with maximum legitimacy should win. This means that the votes against him and “against all” must be summed up, and [there should be more votes “for” him].

“This condition has not been met.  The CEC has no right to change the law.  We do not have an elected president”, says Aslan Bzhania.

Aslan Bzhania, leader of the united Abkhaz opposition

He noted that the powers of the incumbent president expire on September 25.

“Starting on that day, if he does not go to the re-election, he will be considered a person who is illegally holding power in Abkhazia. We will respond accordingly,” Bzhania said.

On September 20, the Supreme Court of Abkhazia refused to accept the suit of Khajimba’s rival in the last presidential elections – Alkhas Kvitsinia, who demanded the annulment of the CEC decision to recognize Khajimba as president elect. 

The controversial issue before the court was precisely the interpretation of the CEC provisions of the law on votes “against all”.

On the eve of the election, the CEC decided that the winner would be decided by a simple majority.

Alkhas Kvitsinia became an opposition candidate in force majeure circumstances. 

He was nominated after the leader of the united opposition Aslan Bzhania was taken ill. 

In mid-April 2019, Bzhania was urgently hospitalized in Moscow.  At first it seemed he had been poisoned. 

Then an official diagnosis was published by a Russian clinic which said Bzhania suffered from a rare autoimmune disease.  

Bzhania was transferred to Germany for treatment. The clinic, where he is now, associates his illness with poisoning with heavy metals, in particular mercury and cadmium.

Now Bzhania is still there for treatment.  His health is on the mend, and as people from his entourage say, by the end of 2019 he is likely to return to Abkhazia.

Aslan Bzhania himself believes that he was poisoned precisely because of the elections and is already preparing the opposition for a fight.

“The whole set of tools will be used. Everything that Khajimba used for political purposes will be used with renewed energy by us. They will reap what they’ve sown”, Bzhania promises.

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