Upcoming early presidential elections in breakaway Abkhazia “will be held under the condition of occupation” and “under the supervision of the occupying power,” Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, said on July 18.
Asked at a news conference what the election, scheduled for August 26, and its result might change in relations between Tbilisi and Sokhumi, Kalandadze responded: “Not only we do not expect that this election may have any positive result, we do not at all consider this election to be legitimate.”
“This election is illegitimate and its result, no matter what it is, will be illegitimate,” she said. “This election will be held under the condition of occupation, under the supervision of the occupying power and the large majority of the population of Abkhazia has no possibility to participate in the election. Therefore all the components that make elections legitimate are violated.”
Three candidates – acting president of the breakaway region Alexander Ankvab; prime minister Sergey Shamba and former vice-president Raul Khajimba – are running in the election for becoming the third leader of Abkhazia after the region’s second de facto president Sergey Bagapsh died in late May.