Abkhazian opposition threatens to "block" officials it finds objectionable
Abkhazian opposition blacklist
The opposition in Abkhazia has declared “war” on officials who, in their opinion, are negligent. Leader of the Aidgylara organization, Kan KvarchiaIf, said at a general opposition meeting that that if President Aslan Bzhaniya does not dismiss these officials soon, the opposition will engage with pressure tactics.
The first to be blacklisted were the chairman of the State Committee for Property and Privatization, Beslan Kubrava, and the management of the Chernomorenergo energy company, Zurab Bagapsh.
Railroads and Pitsunda estate
The opposition takes issue with the head of the State Committee for Property and Privatization, Beslan Kubrava, regarding two agreements with the Russian Federation.
In 2010 the Russian Federation provided Abkhazia with a loan of two billion rubles [about $29.15 million] for the repair of the Abkhaz railway. The loan was issued without the parliamentary ratification procedure prescribed by law, and so a fake document was sent to Moscow. But in fact the money did not reach Abkhazia, since repairs were carried out by a Russian company. Moreover, it was so poor in quality that the government of Abkhazia refused to sign an act on the work performed.
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In January 2022, Kubrava was delegated by the government to sign an agreement with the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on the transfer of the Pitsunda estate to Russia.
Not only the opposition, but also supporters of the government believed the clauses of this agreement contradicted the legislation and the constitution of Abkhazia. Not only that, but the coordinates of the estate were incorrectly recorded, and the transfer agreement even includes part of the road leading to the estate, in spite of which Moscow still insists on the agreement’s ratification.
Even the Abkhazian parliament, dominated by supporters of the incumbent president, did not like all this. Despite pressure and persuasion from Aslan Bzhaniya, who supports the agreement, the parliament continues to block ratification.
The opposition is also demanding a change in the leadership of the state energy company Chernomorenergo, which is now headed by Zurab Bagapsh, son of the former president of the republic, Sergei Bagapsh.
Chernomorenergo is blamed for the acute energy crisis the republic is experiencing. Since Aslan Bzhaniya came to power in 2020, Abkhazia’s electricity consumption has skyrocketed from two to three billion kilowatts, as a result of which the republic has been living with rolling blackouts for the entire period with short interruptions.
The sharp increase in consumption is due to the mining of cryptocurrencies. Having legalized it in November 2020, the government thereby almost immediately provoked a collapse in the energy system, after which it was forced to ban mining again. But they failed to bring the situation under control.
During this period, electricity tariffs almost tripled, and charges for consumed energy, which were already low, fell from 50 to 40 percent. And now the opposition is accusing the leadership of Chernomorenergo of unprofessionalism. In particular, she harshly criticizes him for the way the Achigvara transmission line was repaired, when, after replacing old wires with new ones, the line could not withstand the loads and immediately failed because the new wiring did not meet the required standards. Now this line is being repaired again.
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