Aslan Bzhania likely to become Abkhazia’s new president
With over 50 percent of the voters turning out for the election on March 22, the elections have been deemed valid, head of the Abkhaz central electoral commission Tamaz Gogia said.
By a preliminary count, leader of the united opposition Aslan Bzhania has won the election by a wide margin. His competitors were vice-premier Adgur Ardzinba and interior minister Leonid Dzapshba.
The Abkbhaz capital showed the highest turnout. The final results will be announced on March 23.
See scenes from March 22’s election in the video below.
Background on the scandals surrounding the Abkhaz presidential elections
On September 8, 2019, Raul Khajimba won the second round of the presidential election in Abkhazia and went on to serve a second term. The opposition protested and stated that there had been no victory, since Khajimba won only 47 percent of the vote, while the law required a simple majority of 51%.
The situation became much worse when in November, a high-profile triple murder was committed in a popular restaurant in the center of Sukhumi in broad daylight. After some time, it turned out that among those who carried out the attack were members of President Khajimba’s guard.
On January 9, 2020, around a thousand people, including relatives and friends of those killed, stormed the presidential palace and demanded the president’s resignation. That same afternoon, the Supreme Court declared the election results invalid.
And on January 12, Raul Khajimba announced his resignation.
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