Abkhazia, the separatist republic formerly belonging to Georgia, holds parliamentary elections on 10 March. The lack of common acknowledgment of this state did not prevent 40 Russian observers from monitoring the voting process.
On 10 March at 8 am, 174 polling stations in Abkhazia were opened. Buildings where the voting took place had installed video cameras which are connected with the information centre in Sukhumi, the capital of the Georgian separatist republic. The Central Election Commission informed that the attendance at 3 pm went up to 29.25 percent, which, in accordance with state regulations, gives validity for the elections.
In an interview for Kavkaz-uzel, Abkhazian Minister of Internal Affairs Otar Khetsia said that all day long police in the whole country was on a high state of alert. “Policemen are in every polling station, maintaining law and order”. The event was monitored by 40 observers from the Russian Federation.
Georgia called on international community to condemn Abkhazian elections. The United States and the European Union did it officially, as well as each of the EU states. For instance, Polish Foreign Ministry issued a statement, which reads: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland regrets the fact that separatist authorities in Sukhumi are staging ‘parliamentary elections’ in the territory of Abkhazia, Georgia, on 10 March. The Polish MFA wishes to underscore that the Republic of Poland – pursuant to the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia – does not recognise their legality. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that such initiatives are not conducive to bringing the positions of the parties involved in the conflict closer together and delay the chances for its resolution”.
Translated by KD