(CORRECTED: corrects fourth paragraph to say “fourth attempt” not “third”)
Coordinating Council, uniting political parties and movements which ousted breakaway Abkhazia’s leader Alexander Ankvab, has supported nomination of Raul Khajimba as its candidate in snap presidential elections scheduled for August 24.
Coordinating Council said in a statement, carried by the Abkhaz official news agency Apsnipress, that it was decided with “overwhelming majority” at a meeting on June 17 to “recommend” nomination of MP Raul Khajimba, leader of the Forum of the National Unity of Abkhazia party, as a presidential candidate. Vitaly Gabnia, chairman of union of the Abkhaz war veterans, Aruaa, has been picked as Khajimba’s vice-presidential running mate.
Khajimba’s candidacy has yet to be formally nominated; registration of candidates will start on June 25 and the deadline will expire on July 14.
It will be Khajimba’s fourth attempt to win presidency in the breakaway region.
Khajimba, who graduated KGB's academy in Minsk in mid-1980s, was the breakaway region’s vice-president in 2005-2009. He took that post as a result of a power-sharing agreement with then Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh following a fiercely disputed presidential election between Khajimba and Bagapsh in 2004. In that presidential election Khajimba’s presidential bid was openly supported by Moscow.
In 2009 presidential election Khajimba lost the race against Bagapsh, when the latter was re-elected on the post.
In the 2011 early president election in which Alexander Ankvab won with up to 55% of votes, Khajimba was third in the race with just under 20% of votes.