Breakaway Abkhazia’s parliament decided on Wednesday to hold early presidential elections on August 26, Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported.
Election date, following the death of the Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh late last month, coincides with the third anniversary of formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia.
The breakaway region’s parliament has called on the political parties and the society to show restraint and mutual respect during the election campaign.
It also called to create all the conditions needed for holding of election in “a peaceful atmosphere to once again demonstrate that the Republic of Abkhazia has succeeded in building the democratic state.”
“We all have to pass a serious test in maturity of the statehood,” the Abkhaz parliament stated in its appeal to the society and political parties.
Vice president Alexander Ankvab is now an acting president. Commentators with knowledge of the Abkhaz affairs say that Ankvab, along with the breakaway region’s prime minister Sergey Shamba, as well as opposition figure Raul Khajimba are likely candidates for the presidency. Some also mention the name of Abkhaz businessman and a politician Beslan Butba among the potential candidates.