President of Abkhazia Unwilling to Step Down
/ 25 Nov.'04 / 11:05

In statements released by outgoing President of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba on November 24 the de-facto leader said that he would not step down as President, even if opposition candidate Sergey Bagapsh follows through with his plans to be inaugurated President of the breakaway republic on December 6.

"The so-called inauguration has nothing in common with our country's constitutional norms and cannot have any legitimate consequences," Apsnypress quotes Ardzinba as saying.

“According to the Constitution of Abkhazia, I, as an incumbent president, will preserve my authorities after December 6, until the election of a new, legitimate President,” Ardzinba added.

The de-facto leader went on to condemn actions taken by the opposition, including the storming of governmental buildings on November 12, and blamed them for a death that occurred during the actions on November 12.

"The opposition tried to make the Central Election Commission adopt illegal decisions. It organised disorder in the republic, created illegal armed groups and seized government buildings. As a result of such actions a prominent human rights activist and scientist, Tamara Shakryl, was killed,” Itar-tass reports Ardzinba as saying.

The outgoing President also stood firm by his conviction that only repeat elections in the breakaway republic would solve the crisis, which is now entering its second month, and justified his decision to issue a decree over holding repeat elections by saying that "most electors could not express their will" during the October 3 elections. 

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