Op-ed: Abkhaz opposition's storm of parliament resembles events of 2014
Inal Khashig, political observer and editor of JAMnews in Abkhazia, comments on the events of January 9, 2020
Supporters of the opposition have stormed the presidential palace. The main demand of the opposition is to recognize the presidential elections held in September 2019 as illegitimate and call new ones.
Similar events occurred in Abkhazia in May 2014. Then, the opposition also seized the presidential palace, and the protest was led by Raul Khajimba, who is now the president of Abkhazia. And then-President Alexander Ankvab resigned early.
Now, it seems like we’re in for a spell of deja-vu. Khajimba’s chances of remaining in his seat are melting before our eyes.
This next round of the domestic political crisis in Abkhazia was quite predictable.
On the one hand, there is a low rating of trust in the authorities and in general for the entire political elite. This was clearly seen in the presidential election in September 2019, when the electorate in fact chose between two “evils”, and as a result, one of these “evils” won.
On the other hand, the difficult economic, social, and, most important, the criminal situation, which stand without any chance of improvement, should inevitably have led to an explosion.
It has finally happened.
The last straw for the current protest was the arrest of the president’s bodyguard, who is suspected of involvement in the triple murder on November 24 on the Sukhumi embankment.
As a result, even Khajimba’s supporters have turned away from him.