Abkhaz president dismissed by Supreme Court in win for opposition, new elections to be scheduled
The Supreme Court of Abkhazia has ruled to annul the election results of September 2019, dismissing President Raul Khajimba on the evening of January 10.
New presidential elections will now be scheduled.
The court session was held amid mass protests.
The united opposition has been demanding that the results of the last presidential election be annulled from the moment they were held on September 8, 2019.
At the time, incumbent Khajimba won in the second round with just a slight majority of the votes.
However, the opposition considered the victory illegitimate – Khajimba won 47 per cent of the vote, while the law required 50 percent + 1 of all voters.
A political crisis developed on January 9, as about a thousand opposition supporters first protested in front of the presidential palace, and then burst into it.
The opposition party Aitaira, whose leader is influential politician, former president of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab, called on the president to resign to defuse the situation.
On January 10, protesters were supported by the parliament, which adopted a resolution requesting the incumbent president resign.
The president, who had been in an alternative residence at the “state dacha” all this time, refused to accept this recommendation and stated that he was ready for a dialogue with the opposition.
However, the opposition refused dialogue, protesters said they would not leave the presidential administration building until Khajimba resigned.
As a result, the Supreme Court took the side of the opposition, from which moment the president was removed from office.
Now the Central Election Commission will have to officially announce new presidential elections, and the parliament will set their date.
By law, elections must be held no later than within three months.
Representatives of the opposition were present at the announcement of the court decision, but there was no one in the hall to represent the defense, the Central Election Commission or the prosecutor general’s office.
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