Three to vie for presidency in Abkhazia

10:18, July 20, 2011      

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Three senior politicians have nominated for Abkhazia's presidential election to replace Sergey Bagapsh, who died in May.

The election for the third president of Abkhazia, a Georgian breakaway territory which officially announced independence in 2008, is slated for Aug. 26, earlier than scheduled as a result of Bagapsh's sudden death from illness.

Acting President Alexander Ankvab, former vice-president Raul Khajimba and incumbent Prime Minister Sergey Shamba put forward their candidacies by the July 17 deadline.

Svetlana Jergenia, widow of another former president, Vladislav Ardzinba, who led the region from 1994 to 2004, will be Khajimba's running mate.

Khajimba was the first to make his position public after his supporters applied to the election commission for his candidacy.

He became Abkhazia's vice president in 2005 but resigned in 2009, citing discord with Bagapsh, whom he later challenged in that year's presidential election.

Khajimba gained only 15.4 percent of the vote in that poll and Bagapsh was re-elected for a second five-year term.

Shamba, the second to reveal his ambition for presidency, was appointed prime minister in 2010 after serving for almost 13 years as the region's foreign minister.

He was also the deputy defense minister between 1992 and 1993 during the Georgian civil war from 1991 to 1994.

Abkhazia's independence has been recognized by Russia and six other countries, while Georgia still considers the region part of its territory.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
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