Abkhazia’s presidential election rerun set for March 22 - CEC

Abkhazia’s presidential election rerun set for March 22 - CEC

Abkhazia’s Central Election Commission has set March 22 as the date of the rerun presidential election after the previous vote’s outcome was canceled by the Supreme Court, its chief Tamaz Gogiya told reporters on Sunday, TASS reports.

"March 22 [has been set as the election date]. Everyone voted and this decision was passed almost unanimously", he said.

The political crisis in Abkhazia began on January 9 when protesters demanding the resignation of President Raul Khajimba forced their way into the building of the presidential staff. Khajimba called an urgent meeting of the Security Council and said after it that a state of emergency was not ruled out. Abkhazia’s parliament convened an early session and passed a statement urging the president to step down. In response, Khajimba invited the opposition to negotiate.

On Friday, the country’s Supreme Court overturned the ruling of the country's Central Election Commission (CEC) on results of the presidential election and ruled to set a rerun election. Thus, the court board sustained opposition activist Alkhas Kvitsinia’s appeal against the ruling of the trial court that recognized the results of the presidential runoff election as lawful.

Earlier reports said Khajimba planned to appeal the court’s ruling and stand in the new election. The CEC and the head of state insist that under the law Khajimba must continue ruling the country until the rerun election.

Opposition leader Aslan Bzhania said he would make a decision on running in the new election after ironing out the social and political crisis in the republic. Kvitsinia, who was defeated by a narrow margin, has not yet decided on standing in the new polls.

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