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International community calls so-called presidential elections in Abkhazia ‘illegitimate’

By Levan Abramishvili
Tuesday, August 27
The so-called presidential elections were held in the occupied region of Abkhazia on August 25. The current de-facto president Raul Khajimba has received 23.85% of the votes and a representative of a party ‘Amtsakhara’, Alkhas Kvitsinia got 21,97% of the votes. The second round was scheduled for September 8.

The so-called elections aren’t recognized by Georgia and the international community.

The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (MFA) Vladimir Konstantinidi has expressed his hope that the international community would respond accordingly.

“Our office [MFA] has raised these issues on numerous occasions and is also working on preventive measures with the international community, which we expect will make serious statements. We know the stance of the international community on the lawlessness there, including the response to the so-called parliamentary elections in the Tskhinvali region in July, which the community unanimously condemned and recognized its illegitimacy,” said Konstantinidi.

NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai has responded to the so-called elections in Abkhazia. In a Facebook post, Appathurai has once again reiterated NATO’s support of Georgia’s territorial integrity.

“NATO does not recognise the so-called elections held on 25 August in the Abkhazia region of Georgia. NATO Allies do not recognise the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia as independent states. NATO supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders,” said Appathurai.

Several European states and the United States issued a joint statement, saying that they do not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called elections and reiterating their support of the territorial integrity of Georgia.

“Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States of America do not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called ‘presidential elections’ held in Georgia’s Abkhazia region by the de facto authorities in Sokhumi on August 25, 2019, and will not acknowledge their outcome. Similarly, we do not recognize the legitimacy or outcome of the so-called ‘parliamentary elections’ held in Georgia’s South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region on June 9, 2019,” reads the statement.

The abovementioned states also reiterated their full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

“We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of its forces to pre-conflict positions and the provision of free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions, as well to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states,” concludes the statement.

The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), have also released a statement regarding the so-called presidential elections.

“We reiterate our full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally-recognised borders. The so-called ‘presidential elections’ in the Georgian region of Abkhazia on 25 August 2019 are therefore neither legal nor legitimate. As we said before, these so-called elections hinder the peaceful settlement of the conflict and instead of uniting people they only drive them further apart. We can only condemn that,” the statement reads.