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Quasi parliamentary elections in separatist Abkhazia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 14
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry and President Giorgi Margvelashvili have strongly condemned the so-called parliamentary elections in the country’s western occupied Abkhazia region, which was recognized as an independent state by Russia in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

The ministry stressed this act represents yet another step of the legitimization of the results of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasions, occupations and aggression by Russia against Georgia.

“Hence, according to the international law, any so-called elections or referendum in the occupied territories of Georgia are against the law and cannot have any legal effect,” the ministry's statement reads.

The ministry highlighted that the so-called elections took place in a context in which the Russian Federation didn’t not comply with its obligations under the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and in parallel with an intensified military build-up, continued the factual annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions through their integration into Russia’s military, political, economic and social system.

“At the same time, people displaced from Georgia's occupied territories are deprived of the right to return to the places of initial residence whereas the population remaining in these regions suffer ethnic discrimination and gross violations of basic rights and human rights of freedom.

“Against this background, international security and human rights mechanisms, including representatives of the EU Monitoring Mission, are denied access to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali by the Russian controlled separatist regime,” the ministry said.

The ministry appealed to the international community to give a “due assessment” to the illegal so-called parliamentary elections, and called upon the Russia to respect the fundamental norms and principles of international law.

“The elections won’t have any legal power,” President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili said.

The President stressed that in a situation when the greater part of the region’s people are internally displaced and when a foreign country is occupying the region, it is impossible to speak about the genuine expression of free will.