On December 6 opposition leader Sergey Bagapsh and his former presidential rival Raul Khajimba formalized their handshake agreement to share power by signing an accord, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
According to the agreement, repeat presidential elections, in which Bagapsh will run as the presidential candidate and Raul Khajimba as the vice-presidential candidate, will be held in breakaway Abkhazia before January 13, 2005.
Along with Bagapsh and Khajimba, outgoing Abkhaz President Vladislav Ardzinba, Abkhaz Prime Minister Nodar Khashba, Russian Deputy General Prosecutor Vladimir Kolesnikov and Vice-Speaker of the Russian Parliament Sergey Baburin also signed the agreement.
The provisions of the agreement are as follow:
- Holding of repeat presidential elections before January 13, 2005;
- Supporters [of Sergey Bagapsh and Raul Khajimba] will provide all the necessary measures for normal work of the governmental structures. Particularly, all the reserve forces will be pulled out from [capital city] Sokhumi. Control of the Governmental Office, Abkhazian state radio, the television station and other governmental buildings [captured by the opposition supporters in November] will be returned to the relevant official structures.
- The sides agree to participate in the repeat presidential elections on one team: Sergey Bagapsh as the presidential candidate and Raul Khajimba as the vice-presidential candidate.
- In the event that Raul Khajimba violates this agreement, a presidential ceremony will be carried out in accordance to the results of the October 3 presidential elections [the Abkhaz Central Election Commission announced Bagapsh as the winner of October 3 polls].
- In the event that Sergey Bagapsh violates this agreement, the current President of the Abkhazian Republic, Vladislav Ardzinba, as the guarantor of the Constitution, will take all necessary measures.