Abkhaz People's Movement – the new opposition in Abkhazia
Former presidential candidate of Abkhazia Adgur Ardzinba, who gained 35.42% of the vote in the last elections six months ago, has presented a new public organization, the Abkhaz People’s Movement.
After six months of silence, the politician criticized the authorities for the ineffective fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of a clear position on issues that relate to the national interests of Abkhazia.
The ‘other’ opposition
The youngest presidential contender in the history of the country (38 years old) explained his six-month absence from the Abkhaz political arena by saying he gave them time “so that they could, without bothering with political processes, form a government, present their plans and ideas regarding the difficult epidemiological situation”.
“The deadline has passed and, unfortunately, we still do not see any programmes, clear actions in the current critical situation, we simply don’t understand what the authorities are doing today and what they are going to do tomorrow,” Arndzinba said.
The Abkhaz People’s Movement, according to the creators, will become a platform to unite the people and develop programmes, and is devoted to becoming an opposition “with a different face”.
While in recent years the main political instrument of the opposition has been protest rallies and attempts to seize power by force, the new opposition in the face of Adgur Ardzinba has consistently criticized such methods of political struggle.
There’s a running joke among the public that the new president, Aslan Bzhania, gets away with many mistakes without rallies, whereas society tried to expel former president Raul Khajimba for less wrongdoings.
Epidemic and Karabakh
The chairman of the movement, Adgur Ardzinba, outlined the main complaints against the current government:
“It is an unacceptable luxury to waste time on assigning positions and spheres of influence amidst a pandemic. Now the most important issue is the fight against the epidemic, and it is important to work ahead of the curve, as was done in March. The current actions are far from being ‘ahead’, the situation is critical.”
In the near future, the Abkhaz People’s Movement will initiate a discussion on the coronavirus in order to work out proposals together with experts.
Moreover, Adgur Ardzinba was outraged by the fact that the Security Council on the war in Nagorno-Karabakh has not yet been convened: “All the countries which Abkhazia borders or has relations with –Russia, Turkey and Georgia are related to this conflict; it is naive to think that this does not concern Abkhazia”.
National interests and relations with Georgia
Adgur Ardzinba criticized the authorities for the lack of a clear position on issues that relate to the national interests of Abkhazia.
However, he did not specify whether he meant the issues that most concern society now – the sale of real estate to Russians and the simplification of them obtaining Abkhaz citizenship. Rumor has it that the president has already submitted relevant projects to parliament for preliminary study.
Earlier, Ardzinba repeatedly opposed simplified naturalization and the sale of real estate to foreigners.
This time the talk was about relations with Georgia, obviously with the background of the recent scandalous visit of Georgian politicians to Abkhazia. Then the adviser to the President of Abkhazia Lasha Sakania, who met and accompanied the Georgian delegation, said that he did it on behalf of the president and resigned.
“For some reason, relations with Georgia began to develop dynamically. Here we need to understand, define the red lines at the expert level – what we want, how we will achieve this,” Ardzinba said.
In his opinion, it would be useful to study the recently signed treaty between Serbia and the breakaway Kosovo, whose independence was recognized by most Western countries.
“Read carefully what Serbia has signed up to and tell me why the countries that support Georgia today cannot recommend it to sign the same agreement with us? After all, Serbia has actually undertaken obligations to recognize passports, conduct economic activities, and not hinder the international recognition of Kosovo. Except for recognizing Kosovo, they agreed to everything, so why is it possible in Kosovo, but not here? We need to raise these issues and bring the discussion to the required level,” the politician said.
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