“This is a protest by society against the government” – Political scientist on the law on apartments in Abkhazia
Law on apartments in Abkhazia
The government of Abkhazia is trying to convince the public that the apartment law it is promoting was initially politicized by the opposition. As evidence of this, the authorities have obtained from the archives an interview with the former president of the republic, Raul Khajimba, and the leader of the opposition veteran organization Aruaa, Temur Gulia, in which they say they are not opposed to lifting the existing ban on the sale of real estate to foreigners.
In an interview they gave in 2016, Raul Khajimba and Timur Gulia said that they considered it acceptable to revise this ban, because it creates grounds for making transactions by indirect schemes, as a result of which the owners still sell real estate to foreigners, even if informally.
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But during the reign of Raul Khajimba, the idea of revising the law did not receive further development. And, perhaps, these interviews would have remained in the archive if now both Khajimba and Gulia were not categorical opponents of the adoption of the law on apartments, which is actually a way to circumvent the ban.
“If they were in power now, they would do the same thing that we are doing now,” is the message of the administration of the current President Aslan Bzhaniya.
However, Abkhazian politician and blogger Akhra Bzhaniya is sure that this argument is meaningless and does not change the essence of the situation:
“If anything could finally convince our public that the lobbyists of the new law have no substantive arguments, it was their attempt to take some of the project’s critics at their word.
Everywhere there are politicians who change their views. This can happen due to various reasons, including opportunistic ones. So what? What does it change? How can the clarification of relations between former and current officials affect the very fact of the suicidal nature of the law promoted by the authorities?
Will the obvious threats to demography, business, ecology, our state itself disappear from the fact that someone will convict someone of double standards?
What exactly can you oppose to the arguments of opponents of the law? Nothing!
How do you explain to the citizens of Abkhazia that the constant presence of a hundred thousand foreigners here will be good for them? The fact that our resources should be managed by those who are better at it?
Understand, there is no force that, after 30 years of independence, would restart the process that caused its loss at the beginning of the 20th century!
Therefore one should not try to present the issue as a political cabal. The main engine of protest against the adoption of the law on apartments is not the opposition, but the whole society, which has realized that its long-term interests can be sold. This is not a protest of the opposition against the authorities, it is a protest of the society against the authorities. And such protests are usually brought to an end.”
Law on apartments in Abkhazia
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