A campaign team of Abkhaz presidential candidate Sergey Shamba denied rival candidate Alexander Ankvab’s accusation of using dirty tricks against him and called on law enforcement agencies of the breakaway region to “study thoroughly” Ankvab’s war-time activities two decades ago.
The two candidates became embroiled in personal attacks after supporters of Shamba organized an outdoor screening of a video in Tengiz Kitovani, who was Georgia’s defense minister during the armed conflict in Abkhazia in early 1990s, claims that Ankvab cooperated with Tbilisi during the war providing intelligence information.
“Instead of giving clear-cut, unambiguous answers, Ankvab is trying to accuse our team of attempting to destabilize the situation and by doing so [Ankvab] is diverting public attention from the substance of the problem,” Shamba’s campaign team said in a statement on August 17, according to the Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress.
“We believe that biography of each presidential candidate should be known in details for our citizens; there should be no grey spots [in their biography], especially in respect of the period of national-liberation movement and the war of 1992-93,” it said.
It also said that such allegations against Ankvab were not new and they first emerged back in 1990s after the end of the armed conflict.
Shamba himself also had to make a brief comment on the issue when was asked about it at a meeting with voters in New Athos on August 17. He also suggested, that the allegations about Ankvab’s cooperation with the Georgian side during the war was not new and such allegations emerged in 1994 when criminal charges were brought into the case of handing over of arms stored in the local Abkhaz interior ministry to the Georgian side during the war. He said, according to Apsnipress, that “instead of blaming me for that [Kitovani’s] interview, Ankvab should explain to the people all the facts.”