Breakaway region of Abkhazia will hold a referendum on July 10 to decide whether to call early presidential election.
Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba signed a decree on holding the referendum on June 1, less than three months after opposition filed a petition with the central election commission requesting holding of such a referendum.
“We could have disputed validity of signatures [on the petition, collected by the opposition] and we could have achieved revoking of a decision on holding of the referendum,” said Khajimba, who in his capacity of the president had the final say in deciding whether to call the referendum or not.
“But I won’t do that,” he continued while addressing a public gathering in Sokhumi on June 1.
He said that initiators of the referendum wanted not holding of the poll, but its rejection by the authorities, “hoping to use this rejection for destabilizing situation” in Abkhazia.
“I am against of holding such referendum, proposed by the opposition, as I consider it to be harmful for our statehood. But despite of that, I want to officially declare that taking into consideration difficult challenges on the path of political and economic development, understanding the need for consolidation of the people of Abkhazia, as well as my responsibility as a guarantor of constitution to maintain public accord and stability in the state, I call the referendum,” Khajimba said.
“I am not afraid of people’s decision and I will accept any of its decision,” he added.
Referendum question is: “Do you consider it necessary to hold early election of President of the Republic of Abkhazia?”