Lawmakers ask pro-Russian leader in breakaway Georgian region to resign

Source : 112 Ukraine

Crowds storm president's office in Abkhazia, demanding the resignation of de facto leader of Russia-backed separatist region, contesting local election.
14:47, 10 January 2020

The protesters claim there were widespread irregularities in the re-election of Raul Khadzhimba
Associated Press

A local legislature appealed on Thursday to the leader of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to stand down as crowds of demonstrators were contesting election results, Reuters reported citing TASS, Russian state media.

TASS news agency said 19 lawmakers voted for the president’s resignation, four cast their vote against it, while one abstained from the voting.

Earlier on Thursday, dozens of demonstrators broke into the authorities’ headquarters in Abkhazia and demanded the resignation of its president of the region.

A few hundred people gathered outside the building in the city of Sukhumi, the pro-Russian region’s capital, before breaking down the door and smashing windows to break into the authorities’ headquarters in Abkhazia and demanded the resignation of its president of the region.

Thursday’s unrest came as the authorities were set to review a call by opposition leader Alkhas Kvitsinia to void the results of his runoff against incumbent president Raul Khajimba in September.

According to the Russian media reports, Khajimba was defiant and threatened to introduce a state of emergency in the region if the situation deteriorates.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has called the elections in Abkhazia illegitimate and a “sham process” that violates the country’s sovereignty.

The Russian embassy in Abkhazia said it was following the situation.

Abkhazia map

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed. Moscow has tightened its control over the Black Sea province and a second breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia, after a brief war with Georgia in 2008.

Most countries consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia a part of Georgia, but Russia recognises both as independent nations and deploys its military there despite international condemnation.

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