Raul Khajimba became the first Abkhaz politician, whose supporters applied the breakaway region’s central election commission to register him as a candidate for the early presidential elections set for August 26, the Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported on Tuesday.
Khajimba was the breakaway region’s vice-president in 2005-2009. He took over the post as a result of a power-sharing agreement with late Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh; after fiercely disputed presidential elections in late 2004 the two agreed to share power with Bagapsh becoming the president and Khajimba vice-president.
In May, 2009 Khajimba resigned citing disagreements with Bagapsh.
Khajimba ran for president in December, 2009 election in which Bagapsh was re-elected for the second term; Raul Khajimba, who was Bagapsh main rival in those elections, received 15.4% of votes.
Prime Minister of the breakaway region, Sergey Shamba, said less than two weeks ago that he would run in the presidential elections.
Acting president of the breakaway region, Alexander Ankvab, is also considered to be a potential candidate, who has yet to make public statement about his plans.
Deadline for nominating candidates, which is open since June 27, expires on July 17.