De facto Abkhaz president resigns, opposition leader thanks Russia for help ‘in settling crisis’

 De facto Abkhaz President Raul Khajimba resigned yesterday., 13 Jan 2020 - 11:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

The de facto president of Georgia’s Russian-occupied region of Abkhazia, Raul Khajimba, resigned after a meeting with opposition leader Aslan Bzhania late yesterday which was also attended by Deputy Secretary of Russian Security Council Rashid Nurgaliev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov also went to Abkhazia following the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry that political unrest in Abkhazia was “an internal issue of the republic.”

Bzhania thanked Russia for assisting Abkhazia in “resolving the four-day political crisis.”

The opposition in Abkhazia is now discussing whom to nominate for snap 'presidential elections’ in the region scheduled for March 22.

The opposition leader in occupied Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania. 

The Abkhaz Supreme Court ruled on January 10 that so-called presidential elections in the region held on September 8, 2019 were illegitimate. 

In the second round of the ‘presidential election’ in September, Khajimba received 47.39 per cent of the vote, while opposition ‘presidential candidate’ Alkhas Kvitsinia received 46.17 per cent.

Kvitsinia claimed the results of the ‘presidential elections’ were invalid given that per the region's ‘constitution’, only a candidate that receives 50 per cent of votes + 1 can be considered the victor.  

People took to the streets on January 9 in Abkhazia, demanding the resignation of Khajimba and snap ‘presidential elections.’