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5 Mar, 2007 02:01

Abkhazia elects new Parliament

Abkhazia elects new Parliament

A second round of parliamentary elections is to be held in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia in 2 weeks time. Preliminary results have shown that none of the candidates managed to gain over 50% of votes.

The Abkhazian President, Sergey Bagapsh, has called the election a step to independence, but the results of the poll will not be recognised internationally.

Nevertheless more than 80 observers from Russia, France, Belgium, Moldova and Ukraine arrived to monitor and show support.

“We knew long ago that the U.S. and some international organizations do not recognize us. It is all about double standards. The sooner we renounce them the sooner the conflict will be resolved. We need to build our own state. Everyone can see we have a free press, rule of democracy, parliament elected on the alternative base as well as an economy, which is on the rise. We want to have friendly relations with every country. We are a small nation, but it is not given the right to treat a small nation the way they treat us or South Ossetia or Trans-Dniester. Every nation is so proud of its independence. The three unrecognized states have united and we will strive for our goal through peaceful means which is the basic thing for civilized countries,” Sergey Bagapsh stated.

No major incidents or irregularities were reported. By early afternoon the 25% turnout threshold was easily reached in most constituencies.

The overall turnout was less then expected – about 40 %, not 60%, predicted by the Central Election Committee. But by the time the polling stations closed at 8 pm, it was clear the vote was a success, it is seen in the breakaway republic as a step towards building a democratic sovereign state.